The College Board released annual figures this week about the cost of attending college, showing that the price of in-state tuition at four-year public universities is up about $400 this fall, an increase of about 5 percent.
The College Board findings show this year is only a modest increase compared to the larger jumps in recent years, The Associated Press reported. The increase puts the average cost of a four-year public institution at $8,655, making the increase still difficult for families hit by the recession, the report noted.
About one-third of full-time students pay the full price for college, the College Board found. The net price, which is what students pay after grants and tax credits, is about $2,910 for a year-year university, and $12,110 when including room and board.
Even with the smaller increase, The Associated Press notes that the College Board’s findings are still difficult for many families to bear:
“Altogether, the latest figures send mixed signals. They highlight that higher education, while increasingly essential economically, is devouring an ever-increasing share of family incomes, which are lower than a decade ago. But the numbers could also signal an inflection point where several unsustainable trends in costs, borrowing, and student aid at last begin to break, though it’s too soon to say for sure, said report co-author Sandy Baum of the College Board and George Washington University.”
The College Board itself is doing something to help families that may struggle to afford college, Education Week noted. The head of the College Board, David Coleman, gave a keynote address in which he said closing the gap for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students is a priority.