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Education | THE RESEARCH FILE

Burdens of the Cost of College

June 30, 1997

Rising college costs are placing a greater burden than ever on California students and their families, despite the state's improving economy, the California Higher Education Policy Center reports.

Examining trends in student aid over a six-year period, the San Jose-based research group found that the share of family income needed to pay college fees was much higher in 1996 than in 1990.

Both median household income and disposable personal income declined slightly over the six years after adjustments for inflation, according to the study conducted for the College Board. During the same period, fees rose 97% at the University of California, 80% at the California State University and 198% at community colleges.

"Overall, California colleges and universities are much less affordable than they were in the early 1990s," said Lawrence Gladieux, one of the report's authors. He warned that thousands of needy students could be shut out of college without a stronger financial commitment from the state.

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