Tuition Costs Increase Despite Sour Economy

The College Board’s latest study on college tuition shows that the price for college has risen by 6.5% — right in the teeth of the recession. But all is not lost. For students and families, there are some more pleasant figures in the study, too.

BankingMyWay will open this — the week before Thanksgiving break for collegians — with a look at college prices going into 2010.

The Big Kahuna of college cost barometers is the College Board’s annual tuition report. This year, the study says that the average price for four-year public colleges climbed $29 on a year-to-year basis to $7,020. Tuitions at private four-year colleges rose 4.4% for 2008-2009 bringing the average yearly cost to $26,273, the College Board says.

The news isn’t all sour and dour. According to the study, the average college tuition bill is skewed by exorbitantly higher prices for select private and public colleges. That paints a different picture for families struggling to pay for college costs — a brighter picture, actually.

This from the College Board report:

  • About 19% of students enrolled in private four-year colleges attend institutions that charge tuition and fees below $18,000.
  • Thirty-two percent of full-time students enrolled in public four-year colleges and universities attend institutions that charge tuition and fees between $3,000 and $6,000.
  • While private four-year institutions have a much wider range of tuition and fee charges, only about 20% of all students attend colleges with tuition and fees totaling $36,000 or higher per year.