So anyone notice that the Pell Grant went down for the first time in ten years last year? I did. In the meanwhile, did you notice that the price of tuition (clear across the board) rose faster than inflation? Is every university in America building a new campus center or what?
Although many students do not pay the sticker price, the cost of attending public and private universities has consistently outstripped the rate of inflation. Last year, the Consumer Price Index, a standard measure of changes in the cost of goods and services, rose by 3.4 percent. Tuition, fees, room and board have increased this year by more than 5.5 percent at both public and private four-year institutions.
The price increases at public universities are largely the result of declining federal and state support, the report said.
At the same time, the average Pell grant, the federal government’s grant to the neediest students, declined last year for the first time in 10 years, falling to $2,354 a year.
“Grant aid has failed to keep pace with the posted tuition charges,” Robert Shireman, executive director of the Project on Student Debt, which is financed primarily by the Pew Charitable Trusts, said in a statement in response to the College Board report. “Income for most American families has stagnated, leaving students and their parents with little choice but to turn to loans.” (source)