The biggest barrier for many students heading to college this fall is tuition, but a few steps will make the process easier and more manageable, according to a new report.
The college-related costs of the next three years are expected to be $3,000 to $4,000 higher than they were in 2020, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found.
The CBO also said that while the number of new students entering the workforce will increase, it will be much slower than the rate of growth seen in recent years.
That means that in 2019, the average first-time undergraduate enrolled at a four-year public college or university will enroll less than one-third of the number in 2020.
In 2019, there were 3.2 million first- and second-year college graduates, up from 2.4 million in 2020 and 1.8 million in 2025.
That is due in part to a large increase in the number entering into jobs, but also because more Americans are going to school.
“The overall impact on college enrollment is very modest,” said Peter Orszag, director of the CBO’s Office of Management and Budget.
“The big drivers are the population growth and population shifts among the baby boomers, the drop in the unemployment rate among young people, and the continuing improvement in health outcomes.”
The biggest increases are in the education costs of a college degree, according the CBO report.
College tuition and fees, which include room and board, will jump an average of 1.9 percent annually from 2020 to 2022.
The report noted that the number that will pay for college will increase at a slower rate than the growth in student enrollment.
But there are many other factors at play, like student debt, which has been rising faster than inflation, and interest rates, which are still higher than the average rate of inflation.
Overall, the cost of attending a four years college will reach $3.5 trillion by 2026, the CBO said.
That includes $1.4 trillion in increased medical costs, $2.2 trillion in student loan debt, and $1 trillion in federal student aid, according Topps Baseball Card, the card game industry’s chief executive.
A lot of this is going to be in the student loans, Topps Card said.
But that doesn’t mean all that money is going into student debt.
The total amount of student debt in the U.S. is expected to more than double by 2025, to $18.2 billion.
This will include $3 billion in loans to families that cannot pay back the interest on their loans.
Another big driver of higher costs for college is a decline in federal grants.
In 2019, Congress enacted a law to cut about $200 billion from the budgets of colleges and universities.
In 2025, that law will be repealed, the report said.