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State Researchers Pinpoint True Cost Of College Education

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(AP)

(AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – In a draft report obtained by KCBS, researchers at the California Postsecondary Education Commission have outlined the costs for a year at a UC or CSU campus.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

The report, scheduled for release this week, showed that incomes haven’t kept pace with rising college costs; grants haven’t, either.

The report put the total cost of a UC student living on campus at more than $27,000, an 18% increase from 2006. At a CSU campus, costs increased 23% to $20,000.

“Grants do greatly offset costs for the lowest income families, but what we found was that the lowest income families are still paying about 34%, 35% of their annual income. Middle income families are paying about one-quarter of their income for college at UC and CSU,” explained research analyst Jessika Jones.

The average debt for a recent graduate was $18,000, which Jones said pointed to the need for increased state aid, and not just for low income families.

“Also the families who are making, you know, up to $100,000 a year. They’re really feeling the pinch, too, because they don’t have the access to as much grant aid.”

She theorized that a reliable schedule of cost increases, rather than yearly volatility in fee increases, would be a great help to students of all income levels.

“If you compare California institutions, you know, UC compared with University of Michigan or Illinois or Virginia, you’ll see that the fees are lower but the cost of living in California pushes the total cost of attending a university beyond what is comparable in other states.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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