Louisiana University Costs Increased by 154.6% Last Decade, Study Reveals

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 02, 2021

louisiana university

Due to the state’s expenses cut on higher education, higher education institutions in Louisiana have continuously increased their tuition fees for students throughout the last decade, the most recent Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) report reveals. This action makes it earning a degree in Louisiana universities more expensive than ever.

At the same time, the Southern Regional Board’s data shows that Louisiana’s direct state support for students has marked a decline of 42.8 percent, from $6,062 per student in 2010 to $3,467 in 2020, Erudera.com informs.

According to the LLA’s report, school students’ fees have increased by 154.6 percent from 2010. Universities now pay  Students now pay $2,975 per student, whereas, in 2010, the average fee cost per student was $1,168. Fee increases surpassed inflation by 113.5 percent.

Following this trend, students enrolled at Louisiana universities in 2019 must pay another $318.3 million for fees or a total of  $6,247 per student. That amount oversees what inflation to earn a four-year degree is predicted to be, LLA further shows.

The cost of gaining a four-year degree has increased by 63.7 percent, adding another $35,069 to the amount of $55,013 for 2010 graduates. Graduated students in 2020 have to pay $90,082 as LLA evaluated. The cost of graduating with a two-year degree has increased by $12,009 (45.6 percent). In 2010, students paid $26,310 for their degrees, whereas the class of 2020 will pay $38,319.

Only one-third of Louisiana students are capable of affording the higher costs through financial aid and help from their family, LLA report shows. For those who cannot, the average compensation for a four-year degree is about $23,537.

As a result of the high tuition costs, Louisiana’s 2017-2018 students who obtained four-year degrees had an average debt of $22,217, and two-year graduates had about $13,759 in debt, LLA reveals.

These amounts were 0.4 percent and 27.4 percent above the average for public institutions in states under the Southern Regional Education Board. The latter is a nonprofit organization working to improve education at every level in 16 states, which are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Board of Regents, which manages higher education in the state, aims to have 60 percent of the working-age population in Louisiana graduate with a high-value degree in the upcoming nine years.

“To achieve this goal, higher education must be affordable and attainable for all Louisiana citizens,” a letter by Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed and other university leaders of the state’s reads.

The LLA report also includes two recommendations directed to the Board.

“The management boards of each system periodically should review all fees to determine whether they are still needed and should include a descriptive itemized list of fees on their websites. The higher ed leaders concurred with those suggestions, according to their response letters to the report,” LLA report advises.

Under Biden’s administration, about 14 colleges and universities in the country have offered free or reduced tuition fees for students. Among these 14 colleges and universities are The Columbia University, Duke University, Harvard University, and Stanford.

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