The College Board's dual annual reports on trends in college costs and financial aid find that the net price of a college education is still rising, despite the attention being paid to affordability.
Karen Herzog-Daykin/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/AP
The spiraling rise of both college costs and student debt has slowed, according to a new report from the College Board. But even though costs aren’t rising as steeply as they were, they are still rising, and the failure of aid to keep pace with tuition increases means that the net cost students pay for college continues to go up.
That’s one conclusion from the 30th annual "Trends in College Pricing" and "Trends in College Aid" reports the College Board released Wednesday. Taken together, the comprehensive reports provide not just a snapshot at how both tuition and student aid are shifting in the most recent year – in which they have been under scrutiny by policymakers determined to make college more affordable – but also how they’ve changed over the past three decades.
“The rapid increases in published college prices have slowed,” says College Board President David Coleman. “However, students and their families are paying more because grant aid hasn’t kept up.” Still, despite the rising costs, Mr. Coleman emphasizes that a college education – as evidenced in another recent College Board report, "Education Pays" – is worth it. “I do not want to diminish the real concern around student debt and the price of college,” Coleman says. “But a college education is one of the best investments students and their families can make in terms of health, income, and upward mobility.”
Among the key findings from this year's “Trends” reports are the following:
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