Cost of College is Rising

It seems that no matter what type of academic institution college students attended during the 2009-2010 academic school year, they had to pay more. According to College Board’s 2009 study, "Trends in College Pricing," college tuition has been steadily increasing and last year was no exception.

At public four-year colleges and universities, tuition and fees rose at an average rate of 4.9 percent per year beyond general inflation from 1999-2000 to 2009-2010, which was faster than it had in the previous two decades. Increasing by 4.9 percent the previous year, in the 2009 to 2010 academic school year the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions was $7,020. Add room and board to the cost of tuition and fees, and the amount college students paid rose by 5.9 percent, an average cost of $15,213. Students going to college out of state experienced an even larger increase of 6.2 percent, with out-of-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities averaging $18,548. After factoring living costs, students were looking at an average total charge of $26,741. Even students taking the less expensive public two-year college route ended up paying more. Increasing by 7.3 percent from the previous year, the average cost of tuition and fees was $2,544. Experiencing the smallest increase, 4.4 percent, in tuition and fees were students attending private not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities experienced. Although considering that they paid an average of $26,273 to go to school, increasing to an average total cost of $35,636 after adding in other expenses, they still ended paying more than students at other types of academic institutions.

Although students at every type of educational institution were charged more this year for their education, thanks to grant aid and federal tax benefits, they also received some breaks. According to the study, the average estimated 2009-2010 academic year net price for full-time students is about $1,100 lower in the private sector and $400 in the public than it was five years ago. When it came to federal aid and tax benefits, students attending public four-year institutions received an estimated average of $5,400, which reduced their average net pay to about $1,600. Students attending private four-year institutions full time received an estimated average of $14,400, which reduced the average net tuition and fees they paid to about $11,900. Those attending public two-year colleges full time received an estimated average of $3,000 in grant aid and federal tax benefits, which covered average tuition and fees, and provided around $500 toward living expenses.