How Do We Pay For College?


by Patrick Appel

NPR passes along this graph on per year college costs and pulls out a few details from the Sallie Mae/Gallup study (pdf) from which it is drawn:

Students are starting to show signs of putting off school for now. Fewer students said they would rather borrow than not attend college this year, with 53 percent compared to 67 percent last year. It may also be that budget-conscious students have become more wary of debt and are economizing by choosing cheaper schools. Students who borrowed money spent 30 percent more on tuition than those who did not.

The report answers my earlier question: about one percent of college financing this last year came from home equity loans. Though the housing bust will impact those seeking higher education in a myriad of ways my earlier fears appear overblown.