Laid Off And Thinking Of Getting That College Degree?

We’ve been told that people enroll in college when the economy turns south. When someone is let go from their job, they decide to either change direction or become further specialised while the economy rights itself.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to afford going to school.

LA Times: A College Board report released today showed that the average price of attending college rose more than 5% this fall, but education officials warned that the current economic crisis might cause sharply higher tuition bills next year.

Annual tuition, fees, room and board for in-state students at four-year public colleges and universities increased 5.7% for this school year, to a national average of $14,333, and rose 5.6%, to $34,132, at four-year private schools, according to the Trends in College Pricing survey. Financial aid cut those bills in many cases.

Those increases were close to the 5.6% climb in the national Consumer Price Index in the fiscal year ending July 2008 and were relatively moderate compared to a run-up of costs a decade ago. “This is certainly not high by historical standards,” said Sandy Baum, a College Board analyst and economics professor at Skidmore College in New York.

But some officials said there may be trouble ahead. State budget cuts, drops in college endowments’ stock market investments and a possible falloff in donations may lead to much larger charges for students and parents next year, they warned. On the other hand, some experts speculated that schools may be loathe to hike prices at a time when many American families face layoffs, home foreclosures and shrinking investments.

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