The proliferation of college tuition and fee inflation charts : the reality for Texas community colleges, 1993 to 2008
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In 2006, the first college tuition and fee inflation chart was produced to illustrate the rate of increase of tuition and fees for colleges and universities in the U.S. This chart was created to highlight the decreasing affordability of higher education in America, and consequently, decreased access and participation of higher education. Currently, there are four authors who have produced five college tuition and fee inflation charts, as one author produced two charts in different years (Blumenstyk, 2008; Callan, 2006a; Callan, 2008; Wang, 2008; Wellman, 2006). The five basic charts are predicated on data which pertain to but do not differentiate between public and private two- and four-year graduate and undergraduate institutions of higher learning. The publication of charts that do not differentiate between higher education sectors has effectively masked important institutional distinctions from the public. This study focused on the rate of increase of tuition and fees for the 50 Texas community colleges. Moreover, this study used the entire population data, not just sample data as depicted in the current charts using descriptive quantitative data from 1993 to 2008. This greater analysis of historical data allows community college leaders to describe their affordability challenges more accurately and, therefore, more effectively.
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