In 2012-2013 the average price of attending college rose to 5.2% above inflation. Recent data suggests that the average college tuition has fallen to 2.3 % above inflation, which insinuates that college is becoming more affordable, yet the data is incomplete. While the cost of attending college may seem to be stabilizing, it is actually disproportionate to the amount of aid being offered to low income students, actually rasing out of pocket costs for students with lower income.
A team of journalists from The Education Writers Association, The Dallas Morning News and The Hechinger Report compiled data regarding tuition costs and income brackets, and found that while higher income families still pay more for college education, lower income families are experiencing higher tuition raises than their more affluent counterparts. The data has been turned into a website, Tuition Tracker, where students and families can search for tuition prices and raises at various universities.
This tool can help lower income families find schools affordable schools and compare costs when considering higher education.
As the cost of college increases and financial aid options are becoming limited, it is growing increasingly harder for lower income students to succeed in the realm of academics but some college programs are making changes that can help students succeed.
The concept of working while in college is getting a new spin by universities that are accepting the ‘Work College’ model.
These colleges, as stated on the Work Colleges Organizations website, are working to build, “character, work ethic, leadership, critical thinking and time management skills,” by paying students to provide work for areas in which they are studying- giving them valuable work experience while helping them pay for school.
Currently, there are seven participating colleges, but the organizations website offers information for interested universities to participate, hopefully expanding the idea to more college campuses in the future.