Rising College Costs Are Due Largely to Books, Room, and Board, Study Finds

Despite the widely publicized rising sticker prices on tuition, about two-thirds of the increase in the cost of attending a four-year college from 2000 to 2009 came from nontuition sources, such as books and off-campus room and board, according to a report released on Thursday by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. The average amount that students paid, after subtracting savings from scholarships and grants, increased by nearly $3,000, while net tuition prices grew by only about $1,000 over roughly the same period. The overall cost to attend a two-year college also grew, by $1,333, despite the fall of net tuition prices by $849. The authors of the report suggest that more needs to be done to control nontuition costs related to college. The report’s estimates are based on data from the U.S. Department of Education.

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