In-state tuition and fees up by 8.3 percent at public colleges, universities

Tuition increases

by Jeff Goldman | November 3, 2011

According to the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center's "Trends in College Pricing 2011" and "Trends in Student Aid 2011" reports, tuition and fees at colleges and universities are continuing to rise nationwide.

Key findings on the published average 2011-2012 tuition and fees at colleges and universities:

  • In-state public four-year colleges and universities: $8,244, 8.3 percent higher than in 2010-11.
  • Out-of-state public four-year colleges and universities: $20,770, 5.7 percent higher than in 2010-2011.
  • In-state public two-year colleges: $2,963, 8.7 percent higher than in 2010-11.
  • Private non-profit four-year colleges and universities: $28,500, 4.5 percent higher than in 2010-11.
  • For-profit institutions: $14,487 in 2011-12, 3.2 percent higher than in 2010-11.

There were also significant differences in pricing variations from state to state.

Tuition increases by state

California had the highest percentage increase in published in-state tuition and fees (21 percent) in 2011-12, while Arizona and Washington increased their published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities by 17 percent and 16 percent, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, the increases in Connecticut and South Carolina were both approximately 2.5 percent.

"While the importance of a college degree has never been greater, its rapidly rising price is an overwhelming obstacle to many students and families," College Board president Gaston Caperton said in a statement. "Making matters worse is the variability of price from state to state."

Still, students did benefit significantly from the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which increased the subsidies available to students through education tax credits and deductions from approximately $7 billion in 2007-08 to about $14.8 billion in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Key findings regarding student financial aid include the following:

  • In 2010-11, undergraduates received an average of $12,455 per full-time equivalent student in financial aid, including $6,539 in grant aid, $4,907 in federal loans, and $1,009 from a combination of tax credits and deductions and federal work study.
  • In 2010-11, graduate students received an average of $23,955 per full-time equivalent student in financial aid, including $6,750 in grant aid, $16,423 in federal loans, and $782 from a combination of tax credits and deductions and federal work study.

"At a time when students and families are ill-equipped to manage additional expenses, student financial aid is more important than ever," College Board independent policy analyst Sandy Baum said in a statement.

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About the Author

Jeff Goldman is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles.