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Cost of Attendance Report for 1997

Introduction

Public Act 94-180 requires the Commissioner of Higher Education to report biennially to the Education Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly on trends in the cost of attendance at Connecticut colleges and universities and on the availability of all forms of financial aid relative to economic conditions and personal income. This paper is the first of such reports.

This report is particularly timely because of increasing concerns over the rising costs of college attendance. Connecticut’s higher education system has prided itself on its ability to deliver high quality, flexible and accessible programs. Yet, in less than a decade, Connecticut’s public higher education system has gone from being modestly priced to one of the most expensive systems in the country. Costs have risen by more than 140 percent since 1988 while state financial aid resources have remained stagnant. This report seeks to focus attention on this issue and lay the groundwork for a serious discussion on how to maintain financial accessibility to postsecondary education for Connecticut residents.

The report begins with a general discussion of the financial trends and challenges which face the system, followed by a description of who our students are and what they desire from the system. The report then attempts to respond to some basic questions about access to Connecticut higher education including:

The final section of the report makes some preliminary recommendations on possible strategies or approaches to addressing the issues of access and affordability in Connecticut.


Table of Contents

Introduction
Trends and Challenges
Who Are Our Students?
How Much Does It Cost to Go to College in Connecticut?
Can Connecticut Students Afford to Pay?
How Does Financial Aid Work?
Are Our Colleges Able to Meet Need?
Are Connecticut Public Colleges Affordable?  
Conclusions and Recommendations

End Notes  
Attachment A

Attachment B
Attachment C
Attachment D
Attachment E 


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