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October 25, 2017

For the sixth consecutive year, the price American families pay for college has continued to rise and these modest increases in tuition and fees present financial challenges.

The College Board, a non-profit that tracks the cost of college, finds students and families are paying more out of pocket as financial aid fails to keep pace.

On average, the net price – what families pay after grants and aid – is up about 3 percent at community colleges, four-year public colleges and private schools.

Of course, the cost varies by state and school but most states facing budget cuts have seen in-state tuition rates spike. Today, published sticker prices are $3,570 at two-year community colleges, $9,970 at public four-year universities and $34,740 at private, non-profit schools.

Economists say students from families with low or moderate incomes struggle to pay living expenses, even when they do get enough aid to cover college costs.

“The tuition price increases for 2017-18 tell a small part of the story of how much and with what resources students pay for college," said Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. “When grant aid was growing rapidly, many students were protected from the price increases, but as the growth in federal and state grant aid has slowed, the average net prices students pay are rising.”

Earlier: New College Cost Calculator Boosts Applications From Low-Income Students

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