Student debt rises as the future of loan forgiveness remains uncertain


Jessica Dickler
May 28, 2021
  • The price of college is going up. The average tuition and fees increased 1.1% for public colleges and 2.1% for private institutions.
  • This year’s incoming freshman class can expect to borrow more than $38,000 to help cover the cost of a bachelor’s degree, according to a new report.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the price of higher education is an even bigger consideration than usual for students and their families. At the same time, the cost of a four-year college or university has never been higher.
Average tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year increased by 1.1% to $10,560 for in-state students at four-year public colleges, according to the College Board, which tracks trends in college pricing and student aid. The data also showed tuition and fees at four-year private institutions rose by 2.1% to $37,650.
Most students must borrow to cover much of the cost, which has already propelled collective student loan debt in the U.S. past a stunning $1.7 trillion.
More from Personal Finance:
For college students in crisis, emergency grants are a lifeline
Here’s who would benefit most from student loan forgiveness
Rates on new federal student loans will rise by 1%
But this year’s incoming freshman class will rely on loans even more in pursuit of a degree at a public college or university, new data shows.