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Librarian Blog

What are you reading this summer?
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The average cost of tuition and fees for students at four-year colleges rose 6.7 percent between 2010-11 and 2012-13, continuing the skyrocketing rise in student financial burdens.

That 6.7 percent rise was for in-state students.

Oddly, the increase was less steep -- 4.1 percent -- for out-of-state students and lower-still for private nonprofit and for-profit colleges -- 3.1 percent and -2.2 percent respectively.

These numbers all are adjusted for inflation and come from National Center for Education Statistics. They were just released.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the cost of books and supplies actually dropped on average at all four-year institutions, and a whopping -2.7 percent in public for-profit colleges.

I suspect, however, that the costs for books and supplies are lower because more professors are letting students use books available via the Internet or via digital e-books. Additionally, costs were probably lower because professors just aren't requiring students to buy texts, recognizing that textbook prices are out of control. (I taught a news editing class at the University of Texas in spring 2012, and I required no text. The book that I might once have used cost more than $100. I thought it too pricey.)

In Part 2: What role does professor compensation play in the rising cost of college?

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