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College Costs 2013/2014: Increases Slow, but So Does Growth in Grant Aid

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By Nick Bhandari, CFP, HA&W Wealth Management Executive Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor

Every October, the College Board releases its Trends in College Pricing report that highlights college cost increases for the current academic year along with trends in the world of higher education. While costs can vary significantly depending on the region and individual college, the College Board publishes average cost figures, which are based on its survey of nearly 4,000 colleges across the country.

In its report, the College Board noted that even though this year’s increases in tuition and fees were the smallest in many years, the growth in student grant aid from previous years has not kept pace. As a result, many students will be facing higher costs, even in the face of smaller price increases.

To read the full Trends in College Pricing 2013 report, go to trends.collegeboard.org.

Following are cost highlights. Note that total cost figures include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and a sum for transportation and personal expenses. Together, these items are officially referred to as the “total cost of attendance.”

Public colleges (in-state students)

Tuition and fees increased an average of 2.9% this year to $8,893
Room-and-board costs increased an average of 3.6% this year to $9,498
Total cost of attendance for 2013/2014 is $22,826 (up from $22,261 last year)

Public colleges (out-of-state students)

Tuition and fees increased an average of 3.1% this year to $22,203
Room-and-board costs increased an average of 3.6% this year to $9,498
Total cost of attendance for 2013/2014 is $36,136 (up from $35,312 last year)

Private colleges

Tuition and fees increased an average of 3.8% this year to $30,094
Room-and-board costs increased an average of 3.5% this year to $10,823
Total cost of attendance for 2013/2014 is $44,750 (up from $43,289 last year)

Cost trends

In its Trends in College Pricing 2013 report, the College Board noted that college prices have been rising more rapidly than the prices of other goods and services over the last three decades and that “the increasing economic inequality in the United States over recent decades has exacerbated the difficulty in paying for college for many students, in addition to straining federal, state, and institutional budgets.”

The College Board noted that even though this year’s increases in tuition and fees were the smallest in many years, the growth in student grant aid from previous years has not kept pace. As a result, many students will be facing higher costs, even in the face of smaller price increases.

For more information, contact Nick Bhandari at [email protected]

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES: Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.  Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials.  The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

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