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 3,500 col­leges across the coun­try.

To read the Trends in Col­lege Pric­ing 2012 report, vis­it www.collegeboard.com/trends.

Fol­low­ing are the high­lights for four-year pub­lic col­leges (for both in-state and out-of-state stu­dents) and four-year pri­vate col­leges. Note that the total aver­age cost fig­ure includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and sup­plies, trans­porta­tion, and a small amount for mis­cel­la­neous expens­es. This fig­ure is often referred to as the “cost of atten­dance.” In each cat­e­go­ry, col­lege costs out­paced gen­er­al infla­tion, which is cur­rent­ly 2.1% through Sep­tem­ber 2012, accord­ing to Con­sumer Price Index fig­ures pub­lished month­ly by the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics.

 

Pub­lic col­leges (in-state stu­dents)

Tuition and fees increased an aver­age of 4.8% from last year to $8,655

Room-and-board costs increased an aver­age of 3.7% from last year to $9,205

Total aver­age cost for 2012/2013 is $22,261

 

Pub­lic col­leges (out-of-state stu­dents)

Tuition and fees increased an aver­age of 4.2% from last year to $21,706

Room-and-board costs increased an aver­age 3.7% from last year to $9,205

Total aver­age cost for 2012/2013 is $35,312

 

Pri­vate col­leges

Tuition and fees increased an aver­age of 4.2% from last year to $29,056

Room-and-board costs increased an aver­age of 3.7% from last year to $10,462

Total aver­age cost for 2012/2013 is $43,289

 

Cost trends

The Trends in Col­lege Pric­ing 2012 report also not­ed that “The data in this report con­firm the wide­spread per­cep­tion that pub­lished col­lege prices are ris­ing more rapid­ly than the prices of oth­er goods and ser­vices. This is not a new phe­nom­e­non, but one that has per­sist­ed over the entire 30-year peri­od doc­u­ment­ed here … Anoth­er very sig­nif­i­cant issue is that … incomes have declined over the past decade for fam­i­lies at all lev­els of the income dis­tri­b­u­tion. In addi­tion, fam­i­lies have not been able to plan for the fluc­tu­a­tions in the val­ue of the assets they have saved to pay for col­lege.”