Sticker price increases have surpassed the grant aid that students receive
Colleges are putting the brakes on hefty price increases, but tuition and fees are still rising at a faster rate than the financial aid and family income needed to cover costs, according to two reports released Wednesday by the College Board.
“Despite the moderate increases in average published prices, there were considerable increases in net tuition and fees over the past few years,” said Jennifer Ma, policy research scientist at the College Board and co-author of the reports. “These increases, combined with stagnant incomes for many families, raise concerns about ensuring educational opportunities for low- and moderate-income students.”
Sticker price increases have hovered around 3 percent for the last three years, the reports showed, keeping in line with historical trends and the reversal of the soaring costs that marked the recession. But net prices for a college education are rising.
Published tuition and fees for four-year public colleges and universities this fall average $9,650 for in-state students, a 2.4 percent annual increase after inflation.
After taking grants, scholarships and tax credits into account, tuition and fees for local students at public universities average about $3,770. That so-called net price, though, climbs to an average $14,210 when room and board are added. Net prices continue to grow because sticker price increases have surpassed the grant aid that students receive.