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California College Tuition Increases Continue to Exceed Inflation

December 2, 2011

College tuition fees continue to rise at a rapid clip despite overall inflation remaining low (3.5% annually and 2.1% less food/energy, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index Summary published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). And over the past 10 years, per capita personal income in California has barely budged (increasing only 0.35% / year, inflation adjusted, according to California Dept. of Finance). With few exceptions, year over year college tuition increases continue to outstrip inflation with California’s state colleges hitting families with double-digit increases (see the OneDublin.org College Tuition Survey below). California’s public university system is seeing tuition inflation run as high as 29%. Private college tuition fees, already exceeding $40,000 per year in several cases, are increasing as well at 4-5%.

Top 5 Tips for Managing the Cost of College

  1. Look out-of-state and take advantage of WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange) savings (read more…)
  2. Look north of the border to Canadian universities – the cost is similar to or even less than out-of-state colleges. (read more…)
  3. Invest the time to raise your score on the SAT / ACT – these tests play a key role in merit scholarship awards (read more…)
  4. Take AP (CollegeBoard Advanced Placement) courses relevant to your planned major and score a 4 or better on the AP exam – you will likely receive college credit for courses taken in high school, reducing what it will cost to earn your college degree (read more…)
  5. Apply for scholarships and – if you qualify – federal and state financial aid (read more…)

OneDublin.org College Tuition Survey

Bay Area 4-Year Colleges Type Tuition (’10-’11) Tuition (’11-’12) Change
St. Mary’s College of California Private $35,430 $37,150 5%
University of California – Berkeley Public $12,462 $14,461 16%
Stanford University Private $38,700 $40,569 5%
San Francisco State University Public $5,014 $6,276 25%
San Jose State University Public $5,370 $6,840 27%
Santa Clara University Private $37,368 $39,048 4%
CSU – East Bay Public $5,091 $6,333 24%
California College of the Arts Private $35,222 $37,130 5%
Mills College Private $37,605 $39,264 4%
Select 4-Year Colleges (California) Type Tuition (’10-’11) Tuition (’11-’12) Change
California Institute of Technology Private $36,282 $37,704 4%
Chapman University Private $38,524 $39,320 2%
California Institute of the Arts Private $36,742 $38,260 4%
Pepperdine University Private $39,080 $40,752 4%
San Diego State University Public $5,206 $7,578 46%
Thomas Aquinas College Private $22,400 $22,850 2%
UC – Davis Public $11,984 $15,123 26%
UC – Irvine Public $11,232 $14,090 25%
UC – Los Angeles Public $10,781 $13,911 29%
University of Southern California Private $41,172 $42,330 3%
Premier Out of State 4-Year Colleges Type Tuition (’10-’11) Tuition (’11-’12) Change
Harvard University Private $38,416 $39,851 4%
Princeton University Private $36,640 $37,865 3%
M.I.T. Private $39,212 $39,212 0%
Columbia University Private $43,304 $45,290 5%

(source: CollegeBoard 2011 and 2012 College Handbooks, college websites)

Last year’s survey of tuition increases is available here.

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