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College Tuition: What Students Are Paying Today

College tuition prices continue to stubbornly increase, according to new statistics released today by the College Old cash registerBoard, but here's the semi-good news: you probably won't pay these sticker prices.

About two-thirds of college students receive scholarships and grants from their colleges, the federal and/or state governments, which helps drop the cost of college.

2010-2011 College Tuition Prices

Type of school Price % Increase
  • Private colleges $27,293 4.5%
  • State universities $7,605 7.9%
  • State universities, non-residents $19,595 6.0%
  • Community college $2,713 6.0%
On the surface, these college cost increases seem alarming because during the past year inflation barely registered a pulse. When you adjust for scholarships and financial aid, however, the cost of college has increased more slowly than the Consumer Price Index over the past five years.

The most alarming college tuition increases right now are being felt at state universities where most students attend. State governments, such as out here in California, have been cutting back their support of their public universities and unfortunately I don't see that changing. The fact that the federal stimulus money is just about gone for public universities is only going to aggravate the fiscal problems.

State and private college and universities clearly need to find a way to reign in their costs, but I don't see any signs of that happening.

Bottom Line:

If you are evaluating colleges, price tags are meaningless. It's important to find out kind of price cuts individual colleges will offer your child. You're more apt to find these schools if you cast a wider net.

There are tons of price discounts out there and the best way for a child to snag them is to do well at school and take challenging courses. Grade point averages and the strength of a teen's academic record are typically what colleges care about the most.

College Tuition Tool

In the meantime, if you want to see what college costs have been doing at individual schools, I'd suggest that you take a look at this nifty college cost tool from The Chronicle of Higher Education that shows the yearly tuition and fees for more than 3,300 individual colleges and universities since 1999.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog.
College cost image by Jo Jakeman. CC 2.0.