Cost Of A College Education Continues To Rise

New figures on the cost of a college education aren't what students and their parents want to hear.

But it's probably no surprise: Costs are rising as public universities pass state budget cuts on to customers.

The College Board says average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose an additional $631 this fall, or 8.3 percent, from a year ago. Nationally, the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high. With room and board, the average list price for a state school now runs more than $17,000 a year.

But a companion report says the actual amount families actually pay is much lower, thanks to a large increase in federal grants and tax credits for students, on top of stimulus dollars that prevented greater state cuts. The average for tuition and fees is about $2, 490, or just $170 more than five years ago.

The College Board reports roughly 56 percent of bachelor's degree recipients at public four-year schools last year graduated with debt, averaging about $22,000. At private nonprofit universities, 65 percent had debt, averaging around $28,000.

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