Historical Inflation Rates in the United States
Since the end of the gold standard in 1973, the US economy has experienced consistent inflation with occasional spikes. The most recent increase is the one we are currently witnessing in 2022. To combat the recession caused by COVID-19, the US government has provided a series of subsidies, resulting in unprecedented inflation in modern US history.
Natural resource prices are rising daily, exacerbated by the Russo-Ukrainian war in early 2022, and inflation is now projected to be 8.6 percent in May and 9.1 percent in June 2022, the highest since November 1981.
Correlation between College Tuition and Inflation Rate
Tuition at both public and private colleges has increased by 26 percent, according to Student Loan Hero researchers, with Louisiana, for example, increasing by 99 percent from $4,702 in-state tuition in 2010-2011 to $9,358 in-state tuition in 2019-2020.
US News published data on the 20-year average tuition growth among National Universities from 2002 to 2022, broken down by school type: private, out-of-state, and in-state. Tuition growth at national universities has been consistent, whereas tuition growth at private schools has been rapid.
College tuitions are also being impacted, with the University of Virginia approving an 8.4 percent increase in undergraduate tuition and fees over the next two years, as well as Syracuse University increasing by 4.5 percent, Boston University increasing by 4.25 percent, and Oregon Institute of Technology increasing by 6.6 percent, their highest since the Great Recession – describing the driving factor of College tuition increases.
The University of Virginia’s president, Jim Ryan, added that the new tuition rates would help the university balance and maintain its budget during this period of inflationary frustration while maintaining its commitment to accessibility.
Colleges are adjusting tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year
Despite the high inflation rate, college tuition fees did not rise as much as expected; however, many students continue to struggle to pay for college.
Understanding how students may be burdened with paying tuition fees, some colleges began to understand students’ struggles by adjusting college tuition fees. Baylor University in Texas, for example, announced plans to raise college tuition fees by only 3% in 2022-2023 to assist students in financial need.
“There’s really been a growing realization that we were in danger of pricing students out of the market and needed to break the cycle of state budget cuts followed by tuition hikes,” Jeffrey Stensland, a University of South Carolina spokesperson said.
The University of South Carolina has also announced plans to keep their college tuition rate the same in 2022-2023 for the fourth year in a row due to ongoing state investments, understanding the correlation between inflation and college tuition, and attempting to relieve students when college tuition rises.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the University of Pittsburgh has only raised tuition by 3.5 percent, in line with national trends. This is a significant improvement over the past, when tuition increased by 14 percent in 2002-2003, with tuition increases in 2022-2023 dropping significantly to 3.5 percent as everything becomes more remote.
Ohio Dominican University has also announced that with the Covid-19, it will fix undergraduate tuition and increase the number of merit awards for 2022-2023, attempting to make college tuition as affordable as possible and assisting students to get through difficult times of college tuition and fees.
College tuition fees are now being adjusted.
Many people believe that Yale University, Harvard University, and Stanford University are the major schools that charge tuition and fees ranging from $55,587 to $59,950 for the 2021-2022 academic year, and that they provide need-based grants or scholarships to approximately 57 percent of full-time undergraduate students, lowering the average cost of attendance to $18,826 after receiving need-based grants, causing schools to rank as Best Value.
According to US News, art schools have the highest net prices and require students to pay more than they would at comparable colleges, despite offering financial aid packages and other benefits.
It can be frustrating to witness unstoppable tuition inflation and feel powerless to stop it, unsure of what to do. However, students must acknowledge the use of a net price calculator to determine how much you might have to pay to attend a specific school – while some colleges may appear pricey, they may charge less on average, so it is important to understand that the sticker price – the total yearly cost of a college education – may not be the part that you might have to pay.
Many argue that tuition is rising at a slower rate than economic inflation in the United States, which is good news for both college students and parents who pay for college tuition fees. However, with the highest record of inflation rate, the speed of college tuition increase would not be guaranteed – and the fact that students choose colleges based on college tuition fees should be stopped- college tuition fees should not be the main factor to choose college.