Tuition, Fees at Public Colleges Up 2.9%, Smallest Increase Since Mid-1970s

Tuition at Public Colleges Up 2.9%, Smallest Increase Since Mid-1970sCollege tuition and fees are stilling rising as students and their parents are fully aware, but at least the increases have slowed, according to a new report Wednesday from the College Board.
The organization’s annual report on college pricing and student-aid trends found a 2.9 percent increase in published tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year colleges from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
That is the smallest one-year increase since 1975-76. After adjusting for inflation, the increase is 0.9 percent, the lowest inflation-adjusted increase since 2000-01.
The 3.8 percent increase in private, nonprofit four-year college tuition, unadjusted for inflation, is slightly lower than the increases of recent years.
The 3.5 percent increase for public two-year colleges, which is just $110, is typical of increases over the long run, but the smallest since 2007-08.
The College Board also found that federal grant aid has declined.
Between 2007-08 and 2010-11, the net prices paid by many students were held down by large increases in grant aid and tax benefits, particularly from the federal government, even though published prices were increasing rapidly over the same period.
However, federal grant aid declined between 2010-11 and 2012-13. “While grants per student from other sources increased, net prices rose at a time when family incomes have not recovered,” a summary of the report said.
The report also found that about 60 percent of students who earned bachelor’s degrees in 2011-12 from the first public or private nonprofit college in which they enrolled graduated with debt.
Among those who borrowed, the average debt was $26,500.
Over the decade — from 2002-03 to 2012-13 — the total number of federal undergraduate and graduate student loan borrowers increased by 69 percent, while the average annual amount borrowed increased by 6 percent, from $7,900 (in 2012 dollars) in 2002-03 to $8,350.
The average undergraduate federal loan was $6,760 and the average graduate student loan was $17,230 in 2012-13.
In 2013, 1.6 million federal Direct Loan borrowers were in repayment plans that limit their payments to a specified percentage of their incomes.
The College Board’s full report can be found here.

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