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WEDNESDAY BUZZ: College Board Reports Find Slowdown in Growth of College Costs

October 24, 2012


This year’s reports from the College Board, Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid, found a substantial slowdown in sticker prices at four-year public universities, where the average 4.8 percent increase was the smallest rise in more than a decade.

However, tuition continues to increase faster than inflation and growth in family income, reflecting “the continued impact of a weakened economy as well as state funding that has not kept pace with the growth in college enrollments,” according to the reports’ authors.

Average net tuition and fees, after subtracting grant aid from all sources and federal education tax credits and deductions, is about $170 higher in 2011 dollars for public four-year college and university students than it was five years ago, but lower in all other sectors.

“All colleges and universities want to keep tuition affordable, and many have taken impressive steps to this end, whether by adopting new business models, exploring new technological advances for delivering education, or other means,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad in a statement released this morning. “These innovations are critical in helping students and families pursue their educational dreams. But without adequate support from state governments, we are fighting an uphill battle.”

For media coverage of the reports, see the following:

College Costs Going Up at Slower Rate
USA Today

Leveling Off
Inside Higher Ed

Report Says College Prices, Once Stable, Are Up Again
The New York Times

Sticker Prices Go Up at Public 4-Year Colleges, but at a Slower Pace
The Chronicle of Higher Education

College Price Hikes More Modest but Still Painful
The Associated Press (The Mercury-News)

U.S. Colleges Raise Tuition 4.8%, Outpacing Inflation

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