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Public & Private College Costs Up Over 6 Percent

Oct 23, 2007

The College Board reported Monday that both public college costs and private college costs are rising faster than inflation. Rising costs have also outstripped increases in financial aid, leaving students paying more than ever before.

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Public College Tuition and Fees (Undergraduates)

Sector 2007-2008 % Chg
2-Yr $2,361 4.2%
4-Yr In-State $6,185 6.6%
4-Yr Out-of-State $16,640 5.5%

Source: College Board

According to the College Board's Annual Survey of Colleges, average published public college tuition fees have risen considerably in the last year. Compared to the 2006-2007 school year, students are paying 6.6 percent more at four-year in-state schools and 5.5 percent more at four-year out-of-state schools. Two-year schools, which are normally the cheapest option, have also seen an increase of 4.2 percent in a year-over-year comparison.

Tuition and fees constitute 20 percent of the budget for two-year college students living on campus and 60 percent of the budget for four-year out-of-state college students, but only 33 percent of the budget for four-year in-state college students.

Private College Tuition and Fees (Undergraduates)

Sector 2007-2008 % Chg
4-Yr Nonprofit $23,712 6.3%
4-Yr For-Profit $12,089 6.2%

Source: College Board

Average published tuition and fees for private college students have also increased, rising 6.3 percent at nonprofit colleges and 6.2 percent at for-profit colleges. Tuition and fees constitute approximately two-thirds of the budget for four-year private college students.

Published Price vs. Net Price

The published prices shown above are fortunately not the prices that most students pay. Thanks to financial aid, the majority of college students are responsible for a mere fraction of published tuition costs.

The bad news is that because college tuition costs are rising so fast, they are outstripping financial aid, leaving students paying more in net costs than ever before. The net price paid by full-time students at four-year public colleges is $2,580, up $160 from last year. Net prices for private college students are $14,400, up $638.

College Tuition and Fees: Ten-Year Comparison

College costs have risen considerably since the 1998-1999 school year. In the last decade alone, average published tuition and fees for four-year public colleges have nearly doubled. Average published tuition and fees for four-year private colleges have increased by 38 percent.

Public Four-Year Colleges

public

Source: College Board

During the last decade, tuition costs at four-year public schools have increased an average of $216 per year (2007 dollars). Total charges--including tuition, fees and room and board--have risen at an average rate of 7.1 percent per year.

Private Four-Year Colleges

private

Source: College Board

Over the last ten years, tuition costs at private four-year colleges have increased by an average of $589 per year (2007 dollars). Total charges--including tuition, fees and room and board--have risen by an average rate of 5.3 percent per year.

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