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American Students Are Paying More Than Ever For College (Again)

Over the past five years, the average published price at a four-year university has increased by 27 percent.


We've all heard the saying that the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Well, here's another truism: Every year the cost of college goes up. Over the past five years, the average published price at a four-year university has increased by 27 percent. According to the College Board's annual Trends in College Pricing report, costs at these "institutions rose more rapidly between 2002-03 and 2012-13 than over either of the two preceding decades."

It's not that schools are trying to gouge students. Instead, the report notes that revenue shortages—think of all the reports you hear of state budget cuts to higher education—instead of wild spending on campus are behind the rapid rise in public college prices. And yes, prices are up again for the 2012-2013 school year, too. The average published tuition and fees for in-state students attending four-year public colleges and universities jumped 4.8 percent—increasing an average of $399 dollars to $8,655 in 2012‐2012, and the costs of room and board rose 3.7 percent—up $399 dollars to $9,205. Combined with the cost of books, supplies, and other expenses the sticker price to attend an in-state public college is up 3.8 percent to a new record $22,261.

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Can Community Colleges Survive the Economic Downturn?

Despite increased demand for education, budget cuts are causing two-year schools to cut back, denying a college education to thousands of students.

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A Private University That's Cutting Tuition?

The University of the South is cutting tuition and fees for 2011-12 by 10 percent. Can they set a trend of scaled back college costs?


Feeling like you can't afford the cost of a top tier private university? Maybe it's time to consider putting in an application at the University of the South. The school is doing something no other large private school has done in recent years—charging less. They've announced a plan to cut tuition and fees for the 2011-12 school year by 10 percent.

The school, known as Sewanee, after the Tennessee city it calls home, will cost about $4,600 less than it did in 2010-11. The university's president, John M. McCardell Jr., says the school made the decision after acknowledging what students trying to come up with the cash for tuition bills already know: "Higher education is on the verge of pricing itself beyond the reach of more and more families."

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