Rise in Average Tuition for 4-Year Public Universities

A report by the National Center for Education Statistics finds that the average tuition paid by in-state undergraduates at public 4-year universities increased by 46.1% from the 2000-2001 school year to the 2009-2010 school year. On the other hand the average tuition paid by out-of-state students at these same institutions increased by 34.3% during that time period.

However, compare these increases with those for graduate students. At these same 4-year public universities, in-state tuition rose sharply for graduate students who saw their average tuition increase by 60.7% over the 2000-2001 through 2009-2010 period. Out-of-state graduate students, however, saw their tuition increase by 39.3% during that same length of time.

As the cost of higher education at these public universities rises, some other important themes to explore are the economy, the overall shrinking of state funds allocated to institutions of higher education, access to schooling, and trends of the population's educational attainment. While there is a variety of factors contributing to this rise in average tuition, there will be long-term social and economic consequences as well.
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