Most people agree that in today's workplace, you'll need a college education to get a job that pays well and to have the best chance for career advancement. However, students and their families are paying higher prices to get that education.
According to FinAid, an online financial aid resource, college tuition has increased at about twice the general inflation rate. On average, tuition tends to rise about 8% per year, which means the cost of college doubles every nine years. For example, the same public college tuition that cost $8,000 in 2003 will set you back $16,000 this year.
Over the years, there have been many reasons for the increases in college tuition, but the most recent big hikes at public schools are due-at least in part-to state budget cuts. As state and local higher-education funding decreases, colleges are forced to raise tuition to make up the difference. Families that aren't prepared to cover these costs often turn to student loans in order to afford college.