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American Students Experience Greatest Decrease In Affordability

A 72-page report called “Global Changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Assistance”, prepared by the Canadian group Higher Education Strategy Associates, has concluded that government support and funding for higher education in OECD countries has barely kept pace with inflation. Worse, the University World News’ Geoff Maslen reported that given the Eurozone debt crisis and the financial recovery still underway in North America, the outlook remains bleak for higher education institutions.

The report points out that Australia’s tuition fees fell by nearly one percent between 2010 and 2011, but this was the bright point. In America tuition fees rose five percent and was the only country in the entire OECD who saw tuition fee increases coupled with a reduction in student aid.

“Students in the United States appeared to experience the greatest decrease in affordability in 2011, as they faced increases in tuition fees that exceeded inflation coupled with decreases in available financial assistance. Neither trend is expected to reverse course in the next two years,” the report says.

Further, the report indicates that a reduction in traditional-age cohorts is being experienced across the globe, and in all OECD countries there is a push to increase non-traditional student enrollment to make up for this gap.