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Foreword
 
Introduction
 
State
Context
 
Higher
Education
Overview
 
Performance
 
Preparation
 
Participation
 
Affordability
 
Completion
 
Benefits
 
State Policies to
Address Access,
Growth, and
Affordability
 
Funding for
Enrollment Growth
 
Low Tuition
 
An Array
of Policies
 
Enrollment
Redirection
 
Baccalaureate
Degrees
at Two-Year
Institutions
 
Utah College
of Applied
Technology
 
Mission and
Roles Statements
 
Enrollment
"Pause"
 
New Century
Scholarships
 
Conclusion
 
Appendix
 
References
 
About the Author
 
About the National
Center for
Public Policy and
Higher Education
 
Front Page of
Report
 

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Page 8 of 25

  Affordability

More students are preparing for higher education, and enrollment demand in many states is growing, but the rising price of college could make higher education inaccessible for many. From 1980 to 2000, the cost of attending college (tuition + expenses) nationally grew much faster than either inflation or family income. Affordability is of particular concern for the lowest income Americans. Despite almost no statewide need-based aid program, Utah has been able to maintain a relatively affordable higher education system compared to the rest of the nation by keeping tuition relatively low. The National Center's 2002 report Losing Ground demonstrates that tuition growth in Utah during the 1990s did not significantly outpace growth in family income as it did in many states: From 1992 to 2001, tuition increased by 7% at two-year colleges and 16% at four-year colleges in the state. Family income during the same time grew by 14%.

Measuring Up 2004 shows Utah as having made little progress in its affordability measures over the past decade. With little investment in need-based financial aid, the state has relied on low tuition to maintain a low (relative to other states) share of family income needed to attend public or private institutions in the state. As we will discuss later in the case study, recent increases in tuition may begin to alter this statistic.

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