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Report: College Costs Continue Rising, Aid Cuts Could Add To Pain

Students and parents won't be surprised to hear that the prices colleges and universities officially charge for tuition, room and board went up yet again this academic year.

The College Board reported Tuesday that:

-- "Published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions average $8,244 in 2011-12, $631 (8.3 percent) higher than in 2010-11."

-- "Published out-of-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities average $20,770, $1,122 (5.7 percent) higher than in 2010-11."

-- "Published in-state tuition and fees at public two-year colleges average $2,963, $236 (8.7 percent) higher than in 2010-11.

-- "Published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities average $28,500 in 2011-12, $1,235 (4.5 percent) higher than in 2010-11."

It also probably won't surprise many students and parents that when grant aid, federal tax credits and tax deductions are factored in, the average net cost of getting educated is up much less. For example, net tuition and fees at a public four-year universities this year average $2,490 — up 1.4 percent from last year.

But here's the problem, as The Associated Press says: With federal lawmakers pressed to cut the federal deficit, "the days of states and families relying on budget relief from Washington appear numbered."

Related news: President Obama "is outlining a plan Wednesday to allow millions of student loan recipients to lower their payments and consolidate their loans, in hopes of easing the burden of the No. 2 source of household debt."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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