YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s no secret that the cost of college tuition is increasing, but a new study could have the answer to why it’s become so much more expensive.
The Department of Education says the average tuition at state schools in Ohio is up 60 percent since 2000. It’s risen by about $3,005 at public universities in Pennsylvania and $4,000 in Ohio.
An economics professor at Temple University in Philadelphia says the state government is to blame for the tuition spike, something that is out of universities’ control.
In 2000, tuition for in-state students at Youngstown State was $3,989. In a decade-and-a-half, it’s doubled.
“I’m going to have loans, but they’re cheaper than they would have been anywhere else,” said Anthony Wallace, a YSU senior from Akron. “Way cheaper. One of my closer friends, his sister went to Kent and it was expensive. She was actually thinking about coming here.”
Since 2000, Pennsylvania has cut funding to state schools by $3,200 per student. In Ohio, it’s even more with a $3,600 cut in funds per student across the state. That accounts for almost the entirety of tuition increases at YSU and other state schools.
While the cost of going to college keeps going up and up around the country, YSU offers a relative bargain. Other schools in Ohio like Kent State and the University of Akron are $10,000 per year, but YSU is just $8,000.
Students say that makes a difference.
“For sure. A lot of people, a lot of my friends said that was one of the main reasons they chose YSU,” said YSU senior Marissa Lubinski, of New Castle.
Lubinski and her twin sister, Taylor, were interested in going to Carlow, a private school in Pittsburgh.
“They asked $60,000 each. My dad’s a single dad, so obviously he couldn’t pay that for both of us,” she said.
Taylor said YSU gave them in-state tuition and was cheaper than anywhere else.
“I think this will allow me to pay my loans quicker. I won’t be in debt as much as I would if I went to a private school or somewhere that was more expensive,” said YSU junior Hannah Berni, of Austintown.
YSU students say the college offers good programs and a location close to home in addition to the lower cost.
Government data shows the average student that takes on student loans graduates with $35,000 in debt. YSU’s cheaper tuition will leave its students in much better shape than most.