Why is the price tag so high? That’s what The Franklin News-Post asked in its pages this week. And they were referring to the cost of higher education.
“We pay the price because we have to,” Brian Carlton wrote. “If we don’t, we’ll miss out on jobs and opportunity. That’s what everyone tells you when you’re deciding on a college or university. But is the price worth what you’re getting in return? If you’re paying through loans, scholarships or help from mom and dad, the question is the same. Why is the price tag so high?”
“If you’re a parent of a college student in Virginia, there was an unwelcome surprise waiting for you this fall. The average tuition at a public college or university in Virginia rose $369 this past semester, up 3.6 percent. So says the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia through their 2016-17 Tuition Report. The good news? That’s the lowest average in 15 years. The bad news? I’m not sure even that slight increase needed to happen.
Over the course of 20 years, from 1996 to 2016, the amount the General Assembly gave out per student dropped by $1,634. Now, if the argument was that universities needed to make up lost revenue, it seems fair to increase tuition to fill that hole. Instead, over the same period, tuition for public colleges and universities in Virginia rose $3,186. That’s an extra $1,552 per student.”
Where did the money go?
Want to get involved? Visit our ACTion Center and sign our petition to send a message to Virginia legislators that higher education reform (targeting affordability, transparency and accountability) is an important issue to you. In our ACTion Center, you can also search for your elected official and write them a letter directly.