The Cost of College

Read more about the College Board survey of college costs.

Four-year public universities increased tuition and fees by about 8 percent this year, but a big boost in student aid meant the net cost of a college education is lower today than five years ago, according to the annual survey released on Wednesday by the College Board. There was a $10 billion increase this year in Pell grants, for example, bringing the total for the 2009-2010 academic year to $28 billion for qualified students. "At a time of soaring college costs, increasing Pell grants for students is a smart investment in their future and ours," Sen. Bernie Sanders said last March 30, the day President Obama signed the higher education bill.

Sanders is a member of the Senate education committee. "With many young people not able to afford college or graduating deep in debt, this is an important step forward in making sure all of our people, regardless of income, have a better opportunity for a higher education," he said at the time.