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Affordability

The cost of a college degree in the US has increased by 1120% since 1978.

Affordable education is an essential condition for universal access. Yet the cost of education is soaring everywhere, placing college education beyond the reach of more and more youth, even in economically advanced countries.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and The College Board

For many youth in developing countries, it has become an unaffordable luxury. The WUC seeks to promote strategies that will make affordable higher education available to people in all countries, so that universal higher education can soon become a global reality.

  • There are multiple reasons for the rising costs, one is the drop in public funding expenditure due to budgetary pressures combined with skyrocketing costs of the traditional classroom system are placing higher education beyond the reach of many students, even in economically advanced countries.
  • Inability to meet the cost of college education is the number one reason for students dropping out of college worldwide.
  • A Chinese farmer would have to work for 13.6 years in order to fund tuition at a Chinese university, while those who live in wealthier urban areas of the country pay the equivalent of 4.2 years of an individual’s annual income on average.
  • In OECD countries, the cost of tertiary education ranges from 30% to 175% of the median income of families.
  • The cost of a college degree in the US has increased by 1120% since 1978.
  • The typical American student graduates with over $26,000 in debt.
  • Financial aid has not kept pace with the cost of tuition.
  • More students are choosing two-year community colleges over four-year degree programs to reduce the expenditure and loan debt, and many are unable to meet even these lower costs.
  • Reflections on the Future of Global Higher Education - WAAS Conference Report
    Gurgulino de Souza, Heitor; Harish, Janani; Jacobs, Garry; Nagan, Winston; Šlaus, Ivo & Zucconi, Alberto
    The authors urge for an establishment of a World University Consortium to facilitate educational partnerships and linkages with other interested stakeholders at the international level, to provide a centralized source of information about latest innovative ideas and developments in this field, and to explore creative solutions to enhance the reach, quality and relevance of higher education globally.