The Student Debt Crisis, State-By-State

Generation Progress (formerly Campus Progress) is putting together state-by-state factsheets about the student debt crisis. They’ve done six states so far, including California, where I went as an undergrad. State and local funding dropped by 25.4 percent in the U.C. system in the last decade, and in-state tuition has now skyrocketed by 114 percent, according to data from the College Board.

Interestingly, funding and tuition at local community colleges have remained relatively stable, and I’m wondering if this is in part due to because community colleges don’t generally have campus housing, or state of the art classrooms, or other amenities that some of the bigger public universities have added to attract students from out of state. I’m also wondering, if I were a high school student today, if I would have considered attending a community college for my first two years and then transferring to U.C. to save on tuition costs rather than having the full experience of attending a university for all four years.


4 Comments / Post A Comment

OllyOlly (#669)

In my hometown, the local community college had a competitive scholars program. You are part of a cohort that takes more challenging classes and undertakes leadership projects together. The college then has relationships with area school to make transferring after two years very easy. A few of my friends enrolled both for the opportunity and the savings.

loren smith (#2,300)

I did two years at a community college before transferring to a fairly good (Canadian) university and it is the smartest thing I ever did. Fantastic, accessible profs, small classes – and I graduated debt free and scored full funding for grad school.

limenotapple (#1,748)

I work at a community college, and our tuition is something like $85 for in-district and maybe $110 for out of district per credit hour. We have great facilities, too! And dorms! But part of our charter deals with tuition increases, and the state also has some rules about that. We aren’t allowed to have tuition increases over a small percentage in any year.

Also, we have a program in Missouri where students who did well in high school can get their first two years of college at a community college paid for in full before they transfer to a 4 year school. They have to keep up their GPA, but it’s a great deal. I’d say most of our students have a Pell grant, and we do have a number of people sign up for financial aid and quit attending after the check is cut.

I guess the thing that is missing from community college is the “college experience” that you get from being away, but the nice thing is that if you need extra help, you’l get it at the cc.

Eric18 (#4,486)

Below is a good article which explains why tuition costs at universities are out of control. It’s not so much government cutting funding as it is runaway pension costs and reckless spending.

“Almost no amount of state funding is going to make public higher education sustainable unless public colleges and universities get more serious about controlling their spending, especially when it comes to employee benefits (particularly retirement and health care), which the report concludes is driving significant portions of the tuition increases at many public institutions. “If employee benefit cost growth is not reduced, all new funds going to higher education — and this increasingly means student tuition revenues — may have to go to pay for employee benefits, rather than increased capacity or quality.”

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