HigherEdMorning.comWhy college living costs outpace inflation

Why college living costs outpace inflation

November 13, 2010 by Jacob Hawley
Posted in: Finances, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views, Student Life

It’s not just tuition – basic living fees are breaking students’ banks, too. Here’s how it breaks down. 

Standard dorm and meal plan prices have been rising faster than inflation for more than a decade, according to a recent report from the College Board. From the 2000 to 2010 school years – not just tuition, but living fees at public four-year schools increased at an average rate of 5.6% per year beyond the rate of general inflation.

In the fall of 2000, students paid about $6,220 for a standard dorm room and meal plan – but they’ll pay an estimated $8,540 in 2010.

How to account for these runaway costs? Some colleges are placing blame on increased demands for more modern facilities, healthier ingredients and increased dining hall hours.

This isn’t all students are paying for. Students must also budget for books, travel to and from campus, and miscellaneous living expenses such as laundry – all of which will cost the average student $4,200 for the 2010-2011 academic year.

How can students fend off the ever-growing costs of college? Share your thoughts in the comments section, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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