The Unaffordable Era: A 50-State Look at Rising College Prices and the New American Student
MetadataShow full item record
The U.S. has undergone downturns in the business cycle, what have often been viewed as necessary and temporary cuts to public higher education funding have instead become the new normal, and per-student funding has generally been on a downward trajectory for many years. The consequences of this austerity, neglect, and lack of political fortitude are felt most acutely by today’s students, the most diverse in the nation’s history. That today’s students face far higher college prices than previous generations is not in dispute. But the picture is not the same across the country, with wide variation in the levels of state commitments to higher education and to working-class students in particular. Even in states where support seems strong, working-class families face tuition bills that make up very large portions of their family income. This report lays out where the affordability and funding crises are most acute, taking a state-by-state look at where students can hope to work their way through college, how much each state prioritizes public higher education, and where white students have the greatest advantage in being able to pay the rising price.