The average “sticker price” at community colleges rose this year to $3,130, a 5.8 percent increase, according to College Board’s 2012 Trends in College Pricing report. However, Pell Grants, tax credits and other aid covers community college tuition — with an extra $1,220 for other costs for the average student, notes Community College Times.
Student aid and other benefits have more than covered average tuition and fees for full-time students at community colleges since 2008-09. Pell recipients can use grants to fund books, transportation, child care and living costs.
Over the past five years, changes in inflation-adjusted tuition and fees at community colleges ranged from a decline of 3 percent in Maine (minus $103 in 2012 dollars) and an increase of 1 percent in Montana ($32), to increases of 49 percent in Virginia ($1,367) and 104 percent in California ($722). Even with the substantial increase, California still has the lowest prices in the country at $1,418, the College Board says.
In-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges increased 4.8 percent from $8,256 to $8,655, according to the report.