At local colleges, there will be some notable improvements and new buildings on campus.
The big addition to Niagara University is the B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Science. "It's a brand new building we're opening this fall," says NU's Tom Burns.
"They have research labs combined with classroom space which allows our undergraduate students who do the research in biology, chemistry and biochemistry to work with the professors and expand this research to a greater level." Burns says a new admissions, alumni and advancement center will open in the fall in the former Meade Hall.
"It's now the Gacioch Famliy Center on campus. The students will enter this facility as they consider where to study. It'There's also an alumni center, which will welcome our alumni back to Monteagle Ridge," notes Burns.
At SUNY Buffalo State, one of the new elements is the interim president Howard Cohen.
"What I see is a dedicated, intelligent, forward-looking group of people, and I'm excited to work with this team," says Cohen. A new technology building opens this fall. "That building will house the fashion technology, the technology, and the computer information systems programs, and will be state of the art learning spaces for students," says Cohen.
Also, students who reside in Tower 4 will find it refurbished. "It will open August 19th for move in day, and it will be pleasing for students to walk in and see it updated," notes Cohen.
This year is also the year of the teacher at Buffalo State. "There'll be a real focus on teacher education, in particular the science, math, and engineering fields," notes Cohen. "We want to see what we can do to support and increase the teaching population in those fields."
Despite all the grumbling about tuition increases and student loan costs, other college expenses also are going up.
The price of housing and food trumps tuition costs for students who attend two- and four-year public universities in their home states, according to a College Board survey. Even with the lower interest rates on student loans that President Barack Obama signed into law, students are eyeing bills that are growing on just about every line.
A look at typical college students' budgets last year and how they're changing:
The public two-year schools charged in-state students an average $3,131 last year, up almost 6 percent from the previous year. While the tuition hike was larger than at other types of schools, students at community colleges saw the smallest increase in room and board costs - a 1 percent increase to $7,419.
Tuition and fees at community colleges are up 24 percent beyond overall inflation over the past five years, according to the College Board.
On the surface, private four-year schools are the most costly colleges, with the average student's sticker price coming in at $39,518 for all expenses.
The tuition at private schools was up 13 percent beyond overall inflation over the past five years adjusted for inflation.
PUBLIC FOUR-YEAR SCHOOLS
Tuition for students attending public four-year schools in their state was an average $8,655 last year, a 5 percent jump from the previous year. They paid more than that - $9,205 - for housing and food. These schools, like other four-year schools, posted a 4 percent jump in housing costs. Add in books and supplies, transportation and other costs and the total reaches $17,860 to attend an in-state public school, such as a student from Tallahassee attending Florida State University. When grants and scholarships are included, the average student pays $12,110 at such schools.
For students who choose to attend state schools outside their home state, the costs increase to $30,911. They pay the same $9,205 price tag for room and board, but the tuition rates are more expensive. The typical student who crossed state lines to attend a public college in 2012 paid $21,706 in tuition and fees after grants and scholarships - a 4 percent jump from the previous year.
Over the past five years, the tuition sticker price at public four-year colleges is up 27 percent beyond overall inflation.