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.

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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