BATON ROUGE – Years of reduced investment by Louisiana in higher education have helped drive up tuition, jeopardizing the ability of many to afford the college education that is key to their long-term financial success and essential to a growing economy.
Louisiana has cut funding for higher education by 39.1 percent since 2008 when adjusted for inflation, a decrease of $4,602 per student, according to Funding Down, Tuition Up: State Cuts to Higher Education Threaten Quality and Affordability at Public Colleges, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
As the state has slashed higher education funding, the price of attending public colleges has risen considerably. The average tuition at four-year public colleges in Louisiana has risen by $3,493, or 79.1 percent, since the 2007-08 school year— significantly faster than the growth in median income. For the average student, federal and state aid has not kept pace with rising costs, the report found.