New Data: California College Students Facing Mounting Affordability Crisis

New Data: California College Students Facing Mounting Affordability Crisis

A new series of fact sheets measure the increasingly unaffordable costs of college facing California's college students - especially non-traditional students - and identifies the most and least affordable California colleges.

Sacramento, CA - Earlier today, Young Invincibles and Lumina Foundation released a new series of fact sheets highlighting the financial challenges facing California college students as they struggle to afford a college education. By taking a hard, objective look at the affordability of California universities and how the deck is stacked against students - especially non-traditional students - these fact sheets shed further light on the mounting obstacles facing California students as they pursue their degrees.

Among the most troubling findings:

Out of the 2.7 million college students in California, 540,000 students experience housing insecurity - and only 4% of California institutions are affordable.

 

Only 18% of California institutions are affordable for student parents

 

Only 37% of California institutions are affordable for returning students

 

Only 21% of California institutions are affordable for student workers

 

The fact sheets also identify the universities which are the most - and least - affordable for California students. For instance:

Median Net Cost of a School in California: $18,989 per year

Most Affordable Four-Year Public School: California State University-Dominguez Hills - $3,297 per year

Least Affordable Four-Year Public School: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo - $18,530 per year

Most Affordable Four-Year Private Non-Profit School: Touro University Worldwide - $10,572 per year

Least Affordable Four-Year Private Non-Profit School: California Institute of the Arts - $50,472 per year

Note that all prices are average net prices, meaning it’s the price students pay after grant aid is applied.

“This new analysis shows what we’ve been hearing from students across the Golden State: college is beyond the reach of far too many young people,” said Kristin McGuire, Interim Western Regional Director for Young Invincibles. “The skyrocketing cost of college, the increasing need for a college degree to find a job that pays well and decreasing public benefits has put California’s young people behind the eight ball and policymakers need to step up. We know that a college degree is still the best path toward financial security but too many students, especially non-traditional students, are being left behind as college becomes even more unaffordable.”

These fact sheets were created in collaboration by Young Invincibles and Lumina Foundation. Lumina Foundation’s affordability benchmark, known as The Rule of 10, states that students should pay no more for college than 10% of their discretionary income for 10 years, and the earnings from working 10 hours a week while in school. Using the U.S. Census, the groups applied median incomes of different groups of students to test all of California’s institutions’ net prices (cost of attendance minus grant aid, drawn from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems) on the Rule of 10 to determine if they are affordable.

 

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