With College Tuition Prices in Connecticut on the Rise, Can You Afford to Pay? | Connecticut Public Radio

With College Tuition Prices in Connecticut on the Rise, Can You Afford to Pay?

Sep 19, 2014

A new report on student debt in Connecticut reveals the challenges students and their parents experience trying to pay for a college education.

The report, "A Mountain of Debt," was released by a new coalition called Higher Ed, not Debt CT.  The report reveals some bleak statistics: since 2008, state funding for higher education has decreased by 26.6 percent. Colleges and universities have responded by increasing tuition by 27 percent, leaving students to pick up the tab.

Jason Collete, national organizer for the Alliance for a Just Society, who put together the report, said many parents are unprepared for the dramatic rise in tuition. "Often times parent's savings or accounts that were set up when a prospective student is a child just don't cover nearly enough," said Collette. "That is really hurting students' ability to make it through school without having to work very long hours, and/or taking out excessive amounts of student loans."

Watch CT-N's footage of the report's release below:

Sixty-one percent of Connecticut's graduating class of 2012 had to take out student loans, and accrued an average student loan debt of $27,816, according to the report.

Higher Ed, not Debt CT recommends a few measures for state lawmakers to consider to help cut down on the increasing cost of higher education. They include a tuition freeze for public universities; a pay-it-forward model, where students pay no tuition, but pay a certain portion of their income after graduation to keep the institution tuition free; and the creation of a student loan refinancing authority that would help borrowers refinance their student loans.