As if American families don’t have enough to worry about, the College Board just released an unfortunate report showing that college tuitions skyrocketed this year due to the bad economy.
According to the report, colleges across the country have suffered from a decline in state funding and endowments, forcing them to ask for more money from students and their families. The average tuition at private colleges increased by more than $1000 (4.4%) raising their average cost to $35,636, while public schools saw a tuition hike of nearly $500 (6.5%), to $15,213.
To make matters worse, this tuition increase comes after universities imposed heavy cost cutting measures. In other words, families are paying more to attend schools that have cut staff and limited campus resources.
The silver lining for tuition, as the New York Times notes, is that families don’t always end up paying the published tuition rate. Families have been leaning more heavily on financial aid to help offset the bigger burden. With financial aid factored in, average private school prices drop to less than $12,000 and public schools drop below $2,000.
The key to increase your chances for financial aid is to do research on the school policies in advance because certain universities may view your background and family finances differently. You want to find the one that is most likely to be favorable to you before you apply. And be sure to pick schools that want you as much as you want them; they may be willing to dish out more money.
It may be necessary to take your bargaining skills to the next level. Jerry Slavonia can show you the way. Slavonia is the CEO and founder of CampusExplorer.com, a Web site that promotes higher education by matching students with the school of their dreams through an easy-to-use college search engine.
Slavonia pitches a three-step plan for bringing your college tuition down.