What College Costs and How Americans Buy It

Students got more financial aid money this year, but boy did they need it. According to a piece by Tamar Lewin in the New York Times:

As their state financing dwindled, four-year public universities increased their published tuition and fees almost 8 percent this year, to an average of $7,605, according to the College Board’s [two] annual reports. At private nonprofit colleges and universities, tuition rose 4.5 percent to an average of $27,293.

In the last five years, the report said, average published tuition and fees increased by about 24 percent at public four-year colleges and universities, 17 percent at private nonprofit four-year institutions, and 11 percent at public two-year colleges — but in each sector, the net inflation-adjusted price, taking into account both grants and federal tax benefits, decreased over the period.

The average full-time student at a four-year school received $6,100 in grant aid and federal tax benefits to attend a public institution and $16,000 to attend a private college.

Over the last 10 years tuition at public colleges has increased an average of 5.6 percent a year more than the rate of inflation.

Read the College Board reports, “Trends in College Pricing” and “Trends in Student Aid,” here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer