College experience becoming seriously expensive

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Students who hope their future children will follow in their Marquette-educated footsteps might face an unexpected obstacle: the doubling of the cost of today’s tuition prices.

According to The Daily, an iPad news source, the cost of a college education has continuously risen for the last three decades. The tablet newspaper said if the trend continues, the cost of four years of tuition will be more than double its current rate at private institutions, and nearly triple at public universities.

The report showed that the total cost of college — adjusted for inflation — has increased by an average of 3.08 percent per year at private institutions and 2.96 percent per year at public schools.

Part of the reason the increasing cost of college is so daunting is because family incomes are not increasing at a similar rate.

According to 2010 Census data, the incomes of families with at least one child under 18 have increased only about one percent since 1987.

Many students and families do not pay the listed price for their education, though.

According to the College Board, which provides information for prospective students, about one-third of full-time students pay the published tuition price with no grant assistance. While the average advertised annual tuition in 2011 was $8,240 at public schools and $28, 500 at private schools, the data also showed that students and families paid on average about $2,490 and $12,970, respectively, with financial assistance.

More than half of Marquette students receive some form of financial aid to help offset the cost of a college education, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

According to the Delta Cost Project, a higher education organization which focuses on college costs, the sticker price of education at private institutions is generally more than what students actually pay. This means that through scholarships and financial aid, significant tuition discounts are provided for students.

Though the difference between the advertised cost of a college education and the actual price paid by students increased everywhere, it remains steepest among private bachelor’s degree-offering institutions.

While these skyrocketing costs will not affect current students, some are still worried about providing a college education for their children.

Hannah Preston, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, wants her children to attend a private institution such as Marquette but is scared she will not be able to afford it.

Caitlin Tooney, a junior in the College of Health Sciences, echoed these sentiments, adding that financial aid needs to improve in order for people to continue afford college educations.

“Private schools need financial aid to be competitive with public universities,” Tooney said.

Some students think they will send their children to public universities because of lower costs.

Hany Azer, a second-year dental student, said he will probably not send his kids to a private school — especially for an undergraduate education.

Azer attended a public university for his bachelor’s degree and thought he received a comparable education to that of a private university.

“You pay a lot more money (at a private school) for small changes in the college experience,” he said.

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