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College Costs 2013/2014: Increases Slow, But So Does Growth in Grant Aid

The College Board noted that even though this year's increases in tuition and fees were the smallest in many years, the growth in student grant aid from previous years has not kept pace. As a result, many students will be facing higher costs, even in the face of smaller price increases.

Every October, the College Board releases its Trends in College Pricing report that highlights college cost increases for the current academic year along with trends in the world of higher education. While costs can vary significantly depending on the region and individual college, the College Board publishes average cost figures, which are based on its survey of nearly 4,000 colleges across the country.

In its report, the College Board noted that even though this year's increases in tuition and fees were the smallest in many years, the growth in student grant aid from previous years has not kept pace. As a result, many students will be facing higher costs, even in the face of smaller price increases.

To read the full Trends in College Pricing 2013 report, go to trends.collegeboard.org.

Following are cost highlights. Note that total cost figures include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and a sum for transportation and personal expenses. Together, these items are officially referred to as the "total cost of attendance."

Public colleges (in-state students)

  • Tuition and fees increased an average of 2.9% this year to $8,893
  • Room-and-board costs increased an average of 3.6% this year to $9,498
  • Total cost of attendance for 2013/2014 is $22,826 (up from $22,261 last year)

Public colleges (out-of-state students)

  • Tuition and fees increased an average of 3.1% this year to $22,203
  • Room-and-board costs increased an average of 3.6% this year to $9,498
  • Total cost of attendance for 2013/2014 is $36,136 (up from $35,312 last year)

Private colleges

  • Tuition and fees increased an average of 3.8% this year to $30,094
  • Room-and-board costs increased an average of 3.5% this year to $10,823
  • Total cost of attendance for 2013/2014 is $44,750 (up from $43,289 last year)

Cost trends

In its Trends in College Pricing 2013 report, the College Board noted that college prices have been rising more rapidly than the prices of other goods and services over the last three decades and that "the increasing economic inequality in the United States over recent decades has exacerbated the difficulty in paying for college for many students, in addition to straining federal, state, and institutional budgets."

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Kenneth S. Rakes has 25 years of experience in public accounting and is a graduate of John Carroll University. Ken provides tax planning and preparation services for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, and trusts. Ken is a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) providing retirement, estate, investment, insurance, and education planning for individual clients with an emphasis on the tax implications of planning decisions. Ken's other areas of expertise include: Manufacturing, Wholesale, Retail and Service Industries, Non-Profit Organizations and Sub-Chapter "S" Corporations.