The country experienced the lowest increase in rising tuition costs this year for the first time in almost 40 years, according to a recent College Board report.
Tuition at state colleges continues to rise, but the country experienced the lowest increase this academic year for the first time in almost 40 years.
In-state tuition cost about $8,900 for the 2013-2014 academic year, a 2.9% increase since the previous decade when it was 8%, according to the College Board’s 30th annual Trends in Student Aid report published Wednesday. That is the smallest one-year rise since 1975.
In addition, tuition at private universities this year rose 3.8% to an average of $30,100, a slightly lower rate than the increases in recent years, the report found.
But, while rising costs for a college education have slowed, students and their families pay more of their own money because grants are not rising at the same rate as tuition--and it's not cheap.
The average combined annual cost of tuition, fees, and room and board at the public and private level rose by 101% and 137% respectively over the last 50 years. Sending a child to a public university between 1950 and 1970 cost a family 4% of the household income. The number nearly tripled to 11% in 2010.
About 60% of students who earned a bachelor's degree in 2012 from the first public or private nonprofit college in which they enrolled graduated with debt. The average debt was $26,500.
President Obama signed the bipartisan student loan bill into law earlier this year in August. As a result, the interest rate rested at 3.86% for undergraduate student loans and 5.41% for graduate loans. Without the legislation, rates could have increased from 3.4% to 6.8%.
The legislation was initially held up as Republicans didn't want to spend anymore money to keep rates low and a number of Democrats wanted better guarantees that rates wouldn't go up again.
From 2002 to 2013, the total number of federal undergraduate and graduate student loan borrowers increased by 69%.