Princeton University has announced its lowest tuition and fees increase since 1966. The prestigious American institution’s cost raised only 2.9% this year to $47,020. Many other privately funded American institutions are headed in the same direction.

Out of all other American institutions Princeton has made the most earnest effort to provide affordable education to their admitted students. In 2001 Princeton developed the most progressive need-based aid program in the United States, including an unprecedented “no loan" policy. This policy “offers every aid recipient a financial aid package that replaces loans with grant aid (scholarships) that students do not pay back." So for an underprivileged American student, it is a godsend to receive an acceptance letter from the school.

Although it appears to be a great model for other American universities to follow, it is a tough feat to accomplish. Princeton can afford to provide all of that aid because they have extravagant funds to pull from. Princeton has the fifth largest endowment out of all American universities, hovering around $10 billion. Back to the lowering rates overall, since privately funded institutions are becoming less expensive, wouldn’t it make sense for state funded schools to become even cheaper? Unfortunately this is not the case. “State universities are expected to hike tuition to make up for cuts from state governments."

So what does this mean for the future of American university education? Well, successful private institutions can afford to lower their rates and even provide many of their students with full grants, while the state funded ones are forced to increase their rates.

Affordable education in the private sector is quite the proposition.