Paying for College

College tuition costs

The cost to attend college continues to rise faster than inflation. For the 2012-2013 school year, average tuition and fees at public four-year colleges or universities rose 4.8% to $8,655, according to the College Board report, "Trends in College Pricing 2012".

For private four-year colleges and universities, average tuition costs rose 4.2% over the year earlier, to $29,056. If you add the cost of room and board, the average bill at public institutions rose 4.2% to $17,860. For private institutions, the combined bill rose 4.1% to $39,518. (Note: all data are weighted for enrollment statistics.)

The trend of college costs growing faster than overall prices is also a long-term one. Adjusted for inflation, tuition costs at public colleges have grown 257% over the past thirty years after adjusting for inflation, according to the College Board. Tuition increases at private schools have outgrown inflation by 167% over the same period.

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