Source 4 - Update College Tuition Cost s • College Access...

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Update: College Tuition Cost s College Access and the Government Types of Government Assistance Supporters Want More Government Spending Critics Argue Against Increased Spending Tuition Continues to Be an Issue Discussion Questions & Activities Bibliography Additional Sources Contact Information Key Words and Points The issue: Is increased government spending the solution to rising tuition cost s? Or does that approach encourage a lack of accountability on the part of college s? Supporters of increased government spending say: State budget cuts are a prime reason for rising tuition in public college s, and a decline in types of aid most useful to low-income students is making it harder for those students to attend college . Assuring equal access to education for students of varied income levels is important to society and should be a government priority. Critics of increased government spending say: Mismanagement of funds by college s themselves is the reason for rising tuition, and increasing government money only encourages less accountability. In addition, lack of access to college for low-income students is due to educational disparities, not tuition cost s. Higher education is seen as a valuable opportunity and an important means of social advancement. In recent years, however, the cost of college has been rising markedly, making it difficult for many students to attain a college education. That has led to a debate over how much of a role the government should play in making college more affordable to students and what form government assistance should take. Over the last half-century, government efforts to make college more affordable have played a significant role in allowing people from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds to continue their education. After World War II (1939-45), the government paid for veterans to attend college , and in the 1960s and 1970s it established systems of loans and grants to help low- and middle-income students afford higher education.
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Jeremy Eagle In the 1980s and 1990s, however, tuition cost s increased considerably. The past few years have seen particularly steep rises in tuition. The average tuition at a public four-year college in 2004 was $5,132, according to the College Board, an association of colleges and universities. Adjusted for inflation, that represents more than twice the average cost of tuition in 1984. The current average price of a four-year private college is $20,082, also more than twice what it was two decades ago. The recent tuition increases have coincided with a drop in the value of the Pell grant, a major source of aid for low-income students, due to the fact that funding for the grants has not kept up with the number of students who use them. That, in turn, has fueled concern that colleges are once more becoming less accessible to low-income students, a fear borne out by some studies. [See 1998 College Tuition Cost s ] Action by the government to make college
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