Yesterday, the College Board released its annual Trends in Higher Education series, providing information on student financial aid, tuition, and other higher education expenses in three reports: Trends in College Pricing, Trends in Student Aid, and Education Pays.
Trends in College Pricing
The Trends in College Pricing report provides information on trends in undergraduate tuition and fees, room and board, and other expenses with data through 2013-14. Key findings include:
- "The 2.9% increase in in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions in 2013-14 followed increases of 4.5% in 2012-13 and 8.5% in 2011-12 and was the smallest percentage increase in over 30 years.
- Among full-time undergraduates at public and private nonprofit four-year institutions, the median published tuition and fee price in 2013-14 is $11,093.
- Because of increases in aid, the average net price for full-time in-state public four-year college students was $650 lower (in 2013 dollars) in 2009-10 than it was in 2008-09. However, between 2009-10 and 2013-14, average net price increased from $1,940 (in 2013 dollars) to about $3,120.
- Between 2010 and 2011, enrollment grew by 123,000 (2%) in the public four-year sector and by 66,000 (2%) in the private nonprofit four-year sector. Enrollment in public two-year colleges was 159,000 (2%) lower in 2011 than it had been the previous year; it was 68,000 (3%) lower in the for-profit sector.
- Average incomes for families in the middle quintile and above increased between 2011 and 2012, but real incomes remained lower (after adjusting for inflation) at all levels of the income distribution than they had been in 2002.”
Trends in Student Aid
The Trends in Student Aid report provides information on grant aid, loans, tax benefits, Federal Work-Study Assistance, and examines changes in funding levels and distribution over time. Key findings include:
- "In 2012-13, undergraduate students received 52% of their funding in the form of grants, 39% as loans (including nonfederal loans), and 9% in a combination of tax credits or deductions and Federal Work-Study. For graduates, these percentages were 30%, 64%, and 6%, respectively.
- Total education borrowing fell by 6% in real terms between 2011-12 and 2012-13.
- Total federal student loans and parent loans plus nonfederal loans had declined by 2% between 2010-11 and 2011-12.
- Total borrowing from the federal Direct Loan program fell by 3% ($2.9 billion) in 2011-12 and by another 7% ($6.5 billion) in 2012-13. Total borrowing from the PLUS program for parents of undergraduate students fell by 11% ($13 billion) over these two years.
- In 2012-13, undergraduate borrowers took federal loans averaging $6,760, while graduate students borrowed an average of $17,230.
- Nonfederal education loans grew from an estimated $10.5 billion (in 2012 dollars) in 2002-03 to $25.5 billion in 2007-08. Since then, student loan volume from banks, credit unions, states, and institutions has declined to about $8.8 billion.
- The percentage of undergraduate students taking private education loans fell from 14% in 2007-08 to 6% in 2011-12; the percentage of graduate students relying on this source f funds fell from 11% to 4%.
- About 60% of students who earned bachelor's degrees in 2011-12 from the public and private nonprofit institutions at which they began their studies graduated with debt. They borrowed an average of $26,500.
- In 2012, 40% of borrowers with outstanding education debt owed less than $10,000 and another 30% owed between $10,000 and $25,000; 4% of borrowers owed $100,000 or more. This debt increased borrowing for both undergraduate and graduate studies.
- In 2013, 1.6 million federal Direct Loan borrowers were in repayment plans that limit their payments to a specified percentage of their incomes. These borrowers constituted 11% of those in repayment plans, and they held 22% of the total outstanding debt in repayment plans.
- By September 11, 2012, 10% of borrowers who entered repayment in 2010-11 had defaulted on their federal student loans. This was the highest two-year cohort default rate in FY 1995, but the default rates were 21% and 22% in 1989 and 1990, respectively.
- In 2012-13, 49% of all student aid was in the form of grants—the highest percentage over the past decade. In 2008-09, 44% of student aid was grant aid.
The number of students receiving Pell Grants increased from 4.0 million in 1992-93 to 4.8 million in 2002-03 and to 8.8 million in 2012-13.”
The Education Pays report examines the ways in which individuals and society benefit from higher education, providing information on earnings and employment patterns, financial benefits, and indicators of well-being. In addition, the College Board released, "How College Shapes Lives: Understanding the Issues,” which builds on information presented in Education Pays. Key findings from each include:
- "Median earnings of bachelor's degree recipients with no advanced degree working full time in 2011 were $56,500, $21,100 more than median earnings of high school graduates. Individuals with some college but no degree earned 14% more than high school graduates working full time. Their median after-tax earnings were 13% higher.
The 2012 unemployment rate for four-year college graduates ages 25 to 34 was 7.1 percentage points below that for high school graduates. The unemployment rates for those with associate degrees and with some college but no degree were 4.0 and 1.6 percentage points below that for high school graduates, respectively.
- Educational attainment rates are increasing, but college completion rates and attainment patterns differ considerably across demographic groups.
- Postsecondary education relies more on private funding in the U.S. than in most other developed countries.
- Relatively few students actually borrow excessive amounts to fund their undergraduate education, and the majority of students have earnings that allow them to repay their debts.
- The reality that many students enroll but do not complete credentials is central to understanding the costs and benefits of postsecondary education. On average, while there is high payoff to completion, even ‘some college' generates financial benefits."