How Do Education Students Pay for College?

Jacqueline E. King

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

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There is a growing body of research suggesting that concerns about compensation generally—and about
being able to repay student loans in particular—are dissuading college students from choosing teaching as a
career. To help AACTE members better understand the financial pressures impacting education students, this
issue brief takes a detailed look at how students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education pay for college,
including the costs that they face and the financial sources that they tap to meet those expenses.

Using a large, nationally representative study of college students in 2015-16, this issue brief disaggregates results by type of institution attended and by student race/ethnicity. To provide context, the report compares education students to all other bachelor’s degree students.

The issue brief begins by detailing the expenses that education students face. The most significant findings include the following:
• As a result of students’ choices regarding the institutions they attend and their patterns of attendance,the average tuition and fees and full student budget that education majors face before financial aid are each approximately $3,000 lower than the averages for other students.
• Three out of four education students received some type of grant assistance in 2015-16, and the average amount they received from all sources exceeded $9,300.
• Taking grants into account reduces the average tuition charge for all education students—including those who did and did not receive grant assistance—by about half, from $11,753 to $5,629. The average total student budget falls by 30 percent, from $23,729 to $16,572, after grants are taken into account.