BC-CMP-COLLEGE-COSTS:LA — national (800 words)
Tuition increases at US public colleges at lowest rate in decades
LOS ANGELES (MCT) — The rise in tuition at public colleges slowed this year to the smallest increase in more than three decades, although financial aid has not kept pace to cover the hikes, according to a College Board study released Wednesday.
At public four-year colleges and universities across the country, the average price for tuition and fees rose 2.9 percent this year — the smallest annual rise in 38 years — to $8,893 for in-state students, the report said. Room and board adds about $9,500.
However, analysts urged students and families to pay closer attention to what they described as the more important figure: the net average cost after grants, tax credits and deductions. That was $3,120, up from $3,050 last year, for average net tuition and fees at four-year public colleges.
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