U.S. State Sponsored Tuition Rates On The Rise

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Tuition rates overall are increasing worldwide, but recently, in the United States, there have been steeper escalations in state-run university system tuition rates due to drastic budget cuts. Current figures for 2010-2011, place the national average annual tuition and fee costs for a state run university at $7,605. In 2006-2007, this rate was $5,749. Nationally, state run tuition rates and fees have thus risen, on average, 32%. This means that in the US, to get a typical four year undergraduate degree at a state run school, a student will now pay an average of $30,420, over the course of their undergraduate program completion ( see source). The recent budget cuts to state run university systems throughout the United States are causing even sharper increases in tuition rates for students and drawing into question affordability issues for many who rely on the relative affordability of state run universities, including in:

Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal would call for $500 million in cuts, affecting administrative functions, staff salaries and cuts to programs throughout the University of California (UC) system. The UC system already approved an 8% tuition increase for the next year, but may need to increase tuition rates even higher. See source.

There is news circulating of up to a 54% cut in funding upcoming for the Pennsylvania State University system. Kevin Kodish, the spokesperson for the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, claims that such dramatic funding cuts potentially raise tuition by as much as 30%. Students and Faculty have been holding rallies during these times of discussion regarding how much funding will be cut. See source.

University of Florida president Bernie Machen recently called for a 30% tuition increase to balance the 25% decrease in funding. There is currently a 15% cap on annual tuition increases for Florida State run universities. See source.

Tuition rates are rising, yet quality postsecondary education need not cost so high. By offering programs based on Open Educational Resources and Open Source Technology, state run universities can dramatically cut down some of their costs, possibly without needing to raise any more tuition.