College became less affordable this year
Once again, college tuition rose faster than inflation this year, the College Board reports.
Average college tuition and fees rose about 3% from last year, even though the government reports there has been basically no inflation in the rest of the economy over the past 12 months, according to Money.
College costs and net price rise
Money reports that the total published cost of an in-state public university (including room, board, books, travel, and miscellaneous expenses) hit $24,061, up $651 or 2.8% from last year, while the cost of a private college jumped to $47,831, up $1,560 or 3.4%.
And even worse, financial aid didn’t rise enough to cover the increase in costs. The average net price families paid for college (the price after financial aid, grants and scholarships) rose even more, the College Board says.
According to the figures, the net cost for a student living on campus at a public university jumped $18,620, up 3.2% from last year.
And students at private colleges saw an even greater increase in net price: $30,300, up 4.8% from last year.
Community college also became slightly less affordable, but still remained much cheaper than 4-year colleges. The annual cost of one year of community college rose 3% to $3,400 for tuition and fees.
However, the net cost of community college remained quite low. According to The College Board, the average community college student gets enough in grants to cover tuition, and has about $840 left over to pay for textbooks.
Save money on college
Despite the rise in college tuition and net price, sending your kids to college doesn’t have to mean taking on enormous debt.
Even if you’re not interested in community college, there are ways to make college more affordable. We help students and families understand their options and find colleges that offer a quality education at a low price.