Study shows 5.8 percent jump in 2-year community college costs
BEACON-NEWS STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS October 24, 2012 12:06AM
Community college cost
Tuition and fees for full-time students at public two-year colleges were up 5.8 percent — from $2,959 in 2011-12 to $3,131 in 2012-13, the College Board said.
At Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, tuition for a full year of school increased 2 percent, from $3,000 in 2011-12 to $3,060 in 2012-13.
At College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, tuition increased 3 percent between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, from $132 per semester hour to $136 for in-district students. The college estimates the average annual cost in tuition and fees for a full-time student is approximately $3,100.
At Elgin Community College, tuition increased about 6 percent, from $2,970 in 2011-12 to $3,150 this year.
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:34AM
Tuition increases at two-year community colleges outpaced the sticker prices of four-year schools, a new report finds.
Two-year colleges still cost far less than four-year universities. But published tuition and fees for full-time students at public two-year colleges were up 5.8 percent — from $2,959 in 2011-12 to $3,131 in 2012-13, the College Board said.
The sticker price for tuition at 4-year public colleges across the country rose this year by 4.8 percent, or about $400, to $8,655 — a modest increase compared to some recent years but still painful for families in tough times.
In Illinois, community college tuition averaged $3,261 in the 2012-2013 school year – up 2 percent from the previous year.
Four-year public school tuition in Illinois was up 3 percent, to $12,118.
Over the last five years, community college costs have climbed 22 percent while four-year public schools increased by 21 percent, the College Board said.
Speaking of two-year institutions, researchers for the Board wrote: “Low tuition is vital in this sector, which is the gateway to postsecondary education for many low-income and first-generation students who have very limited resources and little or no familiarity with higher education systems and processes.”
The Board — a not-for-profit membership group that promotes college access and owns the SAT exam — said it is difficult to project future price increases but said state funding per student to higher education has now declined four straight years, and is down 26 percent over the last five.
“If we are to meet the needs of our citizens and our economy, state budgets will have to give a higher priority to education in the coming years,” the researchers wrote.
They also called for more vigorous pursuit of “innovative ways of increasing efficiency on college campuses.”
Meanwhile, they forecast less student aid available in the future in light of “growing concern” over federal budget deficits.
The figures come as the two presidential candidates regularly lament the rising costs of college, with President Barack Obama boasting of a broad expansion of federal student aid during his term while Republican challenger Mitt Romney maintains that “flooding colleges with federal dollars only serves to drive tuition higher.” Romney would direct Pell grants to “students that need them most.”
Beacon-News staff reporter Jenette Sturges contributed to this story.