Thursday, March 13, 2014

College Costs Are a Growing Concern

Cost is a growing concern when choosing a college, according to the latest American Freshman Survey. Nearly half (46 percent) of college freshmen say cost was a "very important" factor when deciding which school to attend—the highest level in the 10 years the survey has been asking the question. In 2004, just 31 percent of college freshmen said cost was very important in their college choice.

The percentage of freshmen who say the financial aid package offered by their school was very important in their choice climbed to 49 percent in 2013, the highest level in the 42 years the question has been asked. In 2004, only 34 percent said financial aid was very important.

Perhaps because of the growing importance of cost, the percentage of college freshmen who are enrolled at their first-choice school fell to a record low of 57 percent in 2013—despite the fact that more than 75 percent got into their first-choice school. When asked why they were not attending their first-choice school, most cited financial concerns as very important factors.

Source: UCLA, Cooperative Institutional Research Program, Higher Education Research Institute, The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2013

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