Health Care

Pa. has third highest college costs in nation

Pa. has third highest college costs in nation”

Pennsylvania's average is the third highest in the state, with New Hampshire ranking the highest at $16,070.

College prices increased moderately in the past year, but they still outstrip the aid students get to pay the bills, leaving many young people in a financial squeeze as they try to complete their degrees, according to two new reports released Wednesday.

California's community colleges tuition and fees contrast sharply to prices in some Northeastern and Midwestern states, with Vermont charging the most, $7,980. The resulting $9,680, not including room and board, is $290 below the national average for all public four-year schools of $9970, which rose 3.1 percent this year. But that doesn't mean students are getting a break: Grant aid is failing to keep pace with even modest increases in tuition, so families are still having to dig deeper, according to a series of reports released this week. Grants, on the other hand, have risen significantly since 2010-11.

Tuition, fees, room and board have increased by 2.8% at two-year public institutions.

The public four-year campuses in the College Board survey included the state-related schools and 14 state-owned universities of the State System of Higher Education that have their appropriations. The average costs for dorms and food were $10,800 at public four-year campuses and $12,210 at privates.

A lot of debate about the cost of college dwells on how much colleges charge for tuition and fees.

Authors of the report noted that many students pay substantially less than the published campus rates.

The average total aid for a fulltime undergraduate in 2016-17 was $14,400, with $8,440 coming from grants, $4,620 coming from loans, and $1,340 from education tax credits and work-study programs. At private four-year campuses, the total is $20,210. Still, the amount of money students actually pay after taking grants, scholarships and tax credits into account, known as net price, continued to rise between the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years. It was a different story for full-time graduates, who saw their borrowing initially decline from $19,420 to $17,760, then tick upward to $18,430. While those costs are also steep for out-of-state students at public four-year institutions, and for those at private four-year institutions, they're outstripped by the cost of tuition and fees. The least expensive was the University of Wyoming at $5,220 followed by the University of Florida at $6,380. That annual price, before being adjusted for financial aid, is less than half the $3,570 national average, the survey found.

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