n the past couple of years, the overall cost of attending a public or a private college has increased dramatically to the chagrin of students and parents alike. Not only do parents have to dig deeper and tighten their belts even more, students are also working more to meet the costs of textbooks and other living expenses. In fact, due to the amount of people that cannot attend a traditional college because of higher costs, many give up on higher education altogether. Yet there is another answer – online education. An average online degree cost is decidedly lower than attending a traditional college and inflation rates are lower as well.
For-profit colleges and universities have been splashed across national newspapers and the Internet for the past several months amidst continuing reports of dishonest recruiting tactics, poor graduation and job placement rates and rising student loan defaults. While many for-profits, both ground and online, have reviewed their recruiting and financial practices and modified or enhanced them accordingly, the majority are still fighting back against what they say is a “retroactive crackdown.”
One online college has broken from tradition and taken a “traditionally” non-profit educational approach. Western Governors University, an online college based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, is the first and only non-profit online school. Online schools are, typically, for-profit institutions and are funded largely by the tuition their students pay. This tuition, in turn, often comes from federal aid awarded to students by the government. Recent criticism has focused primarily on this federal aid usage, unfavorable loan repayment rates and the recruiting tactics used by for-profits to enroll their students.
The University of Phoenix, one of the most well-known online universities and largest by enrollment figures, amassed $1 billion in federal grants during the 2009-10 school year. The University of Phoenix was the first education institution (both non and for-profit) to receive such a significant amount of federal financial aid- and because of this the U.S.D.E has decided to take action.
As state’s slash funding for higher education, tuition at two- and four-year colleges and universities is increasing. Recent data shows a 24% tuition increase at public colleges over the last 5 years, a 17% tuition hike at private colleges, and an 11% increase at public 2-year colleges in the same time period. In 2010 alone, tuition and fees at public and private colleges have seen hikes spanning from 4.5 to 8%. Luckily for students, with an increase in tuition comes an increase in financial aid
Increasing tuition and enrollment have caused student loans to be a larger part of the American debt load than ever before. As students consider taking on tens of thousands of dollars in loans, it’s important that they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, and have a plan for getting back out.
If asked, most Americans would guess that credit card debt is the number one source of debt for Americans. They would be wrong. For the very first time student loans have topped credit card debt as the number one source of debt in the nation.
President Obama wants to make the $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit, a part of the President’s 2009 economic stimulus bill, permanent. The college tuition tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2010. Obama has proposed “making the tax credit permanent in his 2011 budget proposal, but Congress has not acted on his request.”
In July 2010, the U.S. Department of Education developed an education initiative designed to challenge states to create and implement a financial literacy program in troubled school districts. The program is designed to better prepare students to apply for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) by awarding money to needy school districts for financial literacy education.
The unemployed are heading back to school. A 2009 report published by the Sloan Consortium details the growing surge in online education, especially during the recent economic downturn. Historically, in times of economic trouble, the demand for higher education increases. This time around, it’s a massive increase in the online learning sector. “Already, one in [...]