Virginia's college tuition price for the average full-time in-state undergraduate student that attends a four-year institution is currently at $5,670 as of the year 2010-2011. This is a stark contrast with the then lower price of $2,192 in today's dollars that students paid in the years 2000-2001 a decade ago. Much of the reason that the price went up is because the state has pulled back on its funding.
The percent change from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012 was an astounding -14.7% in state funding. Other states like Virginia, have taken similar measures like New Hampshire, for example, slashed 41.3% of state funding.
Ultimately, the university and college systems relied on much of the stimulus money to counter the rising costs of tuition. What happens one it all gets spent? It's simple for the most part. As a result, out-of-state students pay a higher tuition price so that in-state students can still get affordable prices. This gives a much greater reason to why you should start learning how to do college comparisons.
The alternative to four-year institutions would be the two-year institutions which typically cost less. For the average full-time in-state undergraduate the cost of tuition in the years 2010-2011 was $3,060. That's about $2610 less than the average four year as outlined in the first paragraph.
This is a much cheaper way of starting out if you decide you want to go to a four-year institution after doing the first two years. But you have to keep in mind that the credits that you get are able to transfer to the next institution that you plan on attending. Usually, the rising cost of tuition for in-state students is set off by a number of things such as raising tuition for out-of-state students.
Ultimately, you will need to make the best decision that benefits your interests. Also, you might want to take a look at the overall college tuition costs in America to find out what your best option is in addition to comparing your financial aid packages you will be receiving from universities you have applied for.
The net price (published price-financial aid) is key when doing comparisons. Whatever the case may be, don't dismiss a college based only on tuition. It's not always the best indicator of what you will pay and if you live in Virginia, don't let Virginia's college tuition prices scare you away until you've looked at net price.
Sources: State Council for Higher Education in Virginia: 2010-11 Tuition and Fees at Virginia's State-Supported Colleges and Universities
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