State and Public Colleges are Losing Their Bargain Status

Secret #6 State and Public Colleges are Losing Their Bargain Status

Only a few years ago, many college applicants regarded state universities as discount-priced “safety schools” that they could fall back on if other schools rejected them. That scenario is quickly changing. Here are some reasons why:

  • Tuition at state schools is predicted to rise. A recent CNN article, “Tuition at Public Colleges and Universities Skyrockets” reports, “Tuition at many public colleges and universities is skyrocketing, thanks to state budget deficits that have choked off funding for higher education.” The article further reports that tuition will jump between 10 and 15 percent at the universities of Florida, Nevada, and Washington. And the University of California expects to raise tuition by as much as 30 percent, due to the state’s budgetary shortfalls.
  • Admission to state schools has become more competitive. According to data on, a website that compiles statistics on college applications, about 53 percent of applicants to Florida State University were rejected last year. Those statistics don’t put Florida State in the ultra-competitive admissions category (top-tier universities can reject as many as 90 percent of applicants). But make no mistake about it, admission to state schools is no longer a given, even for state residents.

So are state universities still the safe, economical choices that they once were? Yes, but the window seems to be closing on the opportunity to take advantage of this educational bargain.

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