The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 8, 1998 - 7A
about 4 percent
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON -The price of col-
lege tuition rose about 4 percent over
last year, though a record amount of
financial aid - more than $60 billion
- was available to students, according
to two studies released yesterday by the
Those increases continue a steady
rise in college costs nationwide that
has put the average price of tuition
and fees at $3,243 for students
attending four-year public institu-
tions. At private schools, students
are paying an average of S14,508
College affordability has become a
growing national concern in recent
years, not only for American families
but also for the federal government.
Over the past two decades, the aver-
age tuition bill has climbed at double
the rate of inflation, so the bill for send-
ing a child to college is eating up a larg-
er and larger portion of a family's
income. The congressionally created
Commission on the Cost of Higher
Education issued a report last January
warning schools that if costs were not
reduced, federal and state policymakers
College Board President Donald
Stewart, while saying that a college
education is not "inexpensive or
easy," stressed yesterday that a
majority of students at four-year
colleges and universities still pay
less than $4,000 per year for tuition
"The truth is that the majority of
Americans often overestimate the
price of attending college and may
be discouraged by those miscalcula-
tions," he said.
According to the College Board
survey, undergraduates at four-year
public institutions this year will pay
about 4 percent more in tuition and
fees, while students at four-year pri-
vate schools will see costs increase
about 5 percent. In addition, stu-
dents can expect a jump of from 3 to
5 percent in the cost of room and
board. The U.S. Department of
Education estimates that more than
one-quarter of full-time undergradu-
ates at four-year schools live on
A separate College Board report
released yesterday found that the
amount of financial aid available from
federal, state and institutional sources
jumped 6 percent over last year, though
most of the rise was in the form of loans
rather than grants.
Stewart encouraged colleges to do
more to hold the line on rising prices
but also urged families to plan ahead to
finance college costs.
Educators say the cost of higher edu-
cation has been skyrocketing for a vari-
ety of reasons. All schools are person-
nel-driven, with many institutions
spending between 80 and 85 percent of
their budgets on salaries and benefits.
In addition, public schools have
seen a decline in government sup-
port on all levels, combined with a
decline in grant and contract money
from the federal government and
private sources. Many schools also
have sustained increases in instruc-
tional costs as well as other student-
related expenditures, from expen-
sive libraries to museums. The con-
stant need to upgrade technology
also is cited as a regular source of
Steven Walton looks at Christmas displays in Marshal Fields in Chicago.
Stores make nearly half their profits in the last three months of the year.
early for shoppers
CHICAGO (AP) - It's begin-
ning to look a lot like Christmas,
everywhere you go. And it has
looked that way since September,
Already, many stores are putting
up their Christmas displays and set-
ting out their yuletide merchandise.
"It's unbelievable, isn't it?" said
Diane Swonk, deputy chief econo-
mist for Bank One, chuckling at the
thought of city sidewalks, busy
sidewalks, dressed in holiday style,
before even Columbus Day.
There's good reason for it.
"Retailers have found that the
sooner we start shopping for
Christmas items, the more we're
going to spend," said Audrey
Guskey, a professor of marketing at
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
That's especially important
because department stores make
nearly half their profits in the last
three months of the year.
Lord & Taylor at the Garden State
Plaza mall in Paramus. N.J., set un
Christmas ornaments already,
and several drugstores had
shelves full of Christmas lights
and other merchandise since
Marshall Field's will not unveil
its famously grand Christmas-
theme window displays until Nov. 7.
But the store has a Christmas shop
open all year, and a modest window
display is already devoted to the
holiday. Shoppers who go into the
basement will find an array of orna-
ments, Santas and snowmen.
At a Sav-On drugstore in Los
Angeles, boxes of Christmas cards,
ornaments and lights are on display
along with the Halloween merchan-
"I think it gets earlier every year,"
shopper Nene Inyang said.
At Nordstrom's department
stores, shoppers can buy Christmas
merchandise already, but company
tradition is to keep Christmas dis-
plays - and music - out of the stores
until after Thanksgiving.
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