Institutions of higher education face new and increasingly difficult obstacles as state and federal funding continues to decrease across the U.S. and student costs skyrocket. In the last two years, Private not for profit four-year institutions increased tuition and fees by almost 2 percent while Public four-year institutions saw a 1.3 percent increase. Although the increases have been lowering since the Recession, grant aid and tax benefits offered to students have decreased, raising the overall cost for students.5
Although the average student graduating with a Bachelor's degree will significantly increase lifetime earnings by graduating, many students are forced to undergo tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt in the process, or even forgo this important investment all together due to financial or other limitations. This is most prevalent in socio-economically challenged communities.Indeed, there are significant disparities between demographics when it comes to student debt. The accessibility of higher education for those from every background and financial circumstance is a strong-held value of ACPA.
As student affairs professionals, educators, and administrators of universities and colleges, ACPA will advocate for vulnerable student populations and protect the mission and duty of institutions of higher education. It is our belief that colleges and universities are the frontiers of knowledge and lasting investments in our future.
We will continue to collaborate with institutions of higher education, student affairs professionals, and governments to educate and advocate for the accessibility and affordability of a higher education for all. ACPA will continue to call on federal and state governments to increase support for low-income college students, standing by students from every background in the fight for college affordability and access.
5Seltzer, Rick. "Tuition and Fees Still Rising Faster than Aid, College Board Report Shows." Esports Quickly Expanding in Colleges. October 25, 2017. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/10/25/tuition-and-fees-still-ri....
Additional resources on this issue:
- ACPArethink Past-President Statement on Access, Affordability
- Department of Education: Financial Aid Resources for Students
- Department of Education: College Affordability and Completion: Ensuring a Pathway to Opportunity
- Urban Institute: Understanding College Affordability
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