"The picture painted in the reports released today by the College Board is becoming sadly familiar to those of us who follow these trends. As the recession lingers and global competition ramps up, many colleges and universities are forced to work with far fewer resources to educate the students who will eventually bring us out of this downturn. Despite extensive and difficult efforts to cut costs and boost productivity, tuition increases have become an unfortunate but necessary step for almost every college and university.
It is particularly troubling to see that over the past decade, state funding at colleges and universities has fallen 23 percent per student after inflation. That number shows it has become all too common for state legislatures to dip into the pockets of students and families to balance state budgets, leaving public institutions between a rock and a hard place when setting tuition rates. Because nearly 80 percent of students attend public colleges and universities, state funding is critical to the affordability equation. The significant difference among states makes it difficult for families to plan ahead.
It is equally clear that federal student aid and tax benefits are of paramount importance. This year, 46 percent of all grant aid for millions of students across the country came from the federal government, which clearly illustrates how serious congressional cuts to these programs would be.
Despite the overall picture, I continue to be impressed by the continued efforts of our nation's institutions of higher education to keep college in reach for as many students and families as possible."
MEDIA CONTACT: Ginnie Titterton ▪ 202-939-9368 (office) ▪ 202-360-9484 (cell) ▪ GTitterton@acenet.edu