East Texas students facing reality of escalating college costs

East Texas students facing reality of escalating college costs
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 10:34 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Back to school is here but so are large tuition and enrollment fees for college students.

According to the Texas higher education coordinating board, the average cost of tuition and fees in the state increased by 27% between 2014 and 2021.

The average student debt among college graduates is now $28,000 and the average cost of tuition, room and board for an entire school year is $18,710.

Jarvis Christian University Vice President of Enrollment, Dr. Darrin Rankin, mentions just how significant this increase has been.

“Well, the cost of higher education in the country has escalated, in fact for the first time a few years ago students have encountered a tremendous amount of debt actually surpassing credit card debt in the trillions of dollars. so it’s a real issue, it’s a real issue,” said Rankin.

He talks about one of the main factors leading to the increase of college tuition.

“The other thing is that there has been tremendous changes in the federal financial aid program that is used to determine student eligibility for grants and things like that. that formula is always evolving and oftentimes it’s not reality for many families,” said Rankin.

Students are advised to apply for scholarships, grants, and federal financial services throughout their entirety of receiving a higher education.

Several universities in East Texas are doing their best to make the cost of education more affordable.

“So the issue of cost is a real one for students all over the county. and I think we ought to recognize that education is a public good as well as a private good, and we should do whatever we can to make it affordable for students,” said Rankin.