There isn’t a hotter topic for high school graduates and those looking for higher education than college tuition.

Especially right now, when student debt is at the forefront of political discourse, it’s important for potential college students and their families to carefully consider their financial circumstances and conduct thorough research when figuring out how to pay for college.

Fortunately for families, college tuition doesn’t appear to be currently rising as dramatically as it has in the past.

This may be due to the increase in grant aid and decrease in student loan borrowing, which may help offset the impact of rising tuition costs.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic also affected tuition rates, as many colleges weren’t  allowed to increase their tuition and fees since many families were already facing hardships.

Read on to learn about college pricing trends, tuition and other important findings, projections for the future, and where to find professional college planning specialists.

What are the trends in college pricing and student aid study?

Staying up to date on current trends can help potential college students and their families estimate what a college degree will cost.

Tuition is the most expensive part of obtaining a degree, which is why it is often the most emphasized.

When looking at the cost of tuition in 2022, it becomes evident that tuition increased, even if the increase was minimal and historically low.

However, with more observation, it becomes apparent that after adjusting for inflation, tuition has actually declined.

Still yet, the cost of tuition can be too expensive for many families, which is why fewer students are enrolling in college, and more are applying for financial aid and grants.

Another unfortunate trend is the increase in undergraduate students withdrawing from school due to affordability.

Even though tuition is not increasing as quickly as before, it has reached a rate where many students cannot finish their degrees without financial assistance.

In 2022, students received $234.6 billion in various types of student aid, proving the need for financial assistance.

In addition, to undergraduate and graduate students receiving federal aid, many still needed to borrow from nonfederal sources. This amounted to $12.7 billion in 2021-2022 alone.

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College tuition findings in 2022 study

The average cost of tuition and fees at a public four-year institution increased by 2.6% in the 2022-2023 academic year.

Similarly, the average cost of tuition and fees at private non-profit four-year institutions increased by 3.4%

For those currently enrolled in a public four-year institution, in-state, they could be looking to pay around $10,940, while out-of-state students may be looking at $28,240.

Note: These are just averages, and the actual cost of college can vary depending on a number of factors.

For instance, the cost of tuition at public institutions is generally lower than at private institutions, and students who attend college in their home state may be eligible for in-state tuition rates, which can significantly reduce the overall cost of attendance.

Additionally, students who demonstrate financial need may be eligible for additional grant aid or other forms of financial assistance that can help to offset the cost of college.

For example, the average net price students enrolled in four-year institutions paid after their federal and grant aid were applied was estimated at $2,250.

Other important findings on college tuition

In addition to the slight rise in tuition costs, it appears that grant aid from the federal state and institutional sources increased by 4.6%.

This means that more students are receiving financial assistance to help pay for college, and fewer are using student loans.

In the 2022-2023 academic year, the average amount borrowed by undergraduate students decreased by 1.4% compared to the previous year.

This suggests that students and their families are finding other ways to pay for college, such as through grants and scholarships or by reducing their overall cost of attendance.

Projections for the future of tuition costs

While tuition costs may continue to rise, they’ll likely rise at a slower pace than in previous years.

Knowing that there will probably be an annual increase can help families prepare and save for the future.

Costs increasing, or remaining high, may motivate some students to take college-level courses before they leave high school.

Many high school students have already taken advantage of dual enrollment programs and have finished their degrees in three years rather than four—and this will likely continue to trend.

Though it requires hard work on behalf of the student, this strategy helps students and their families save money on tuition and graduate sooner.

College planning specialists

Choosing the right college and career may be fun, but figuring out how you will afford it can be challenging.

However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and you don’t have to figure it out alone.

With the help of counselors and advisors, college planning websites, and specialists, students won’t need to worry as much about the financial aspects of attending college.

College Benefits Research Group can help students and their families choose the right college, learn their options for paying for college, and help them navigate through the financial aid application process.

We see the most common mistakes that students and parents make before applying for financial aid and how to make an appeal if you are under-awarded by a college.

It is important to us that our clients have a way to obtain the education they want and deserve.

Contact us or check out our blog if you are interested in our services or joining an upcoming virtual workshop.