Tuition at public colleges rises 4.8%
October 24th, 2012
04:24 PM ET

Tuition at public colleges rises 4.8%

By Kim Clark @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Tuition hikes, stagnant federal aid and increases in other expenses have pushed public college costs to new heights yet again this year, according to a College Board report out Wednesday.

To attend an in-state public college for the 2012-13 academic year, the average overall cost (or "sticker price") for students who don't receive any financial aid rose 3.8% to a record $22,261, according to the report.

Tuition accounted for about half of that increase. Public university tuition and fees alone rose 4.8% to $8,655. In addition, higher dorm, cafeteria, books and other expenses added significantly to the overall increase.

While about two-thirds of full-time students receive grants or federal tax breaks, many are likely to have to foot more of the bill themselves this year. The College Board's economists estimate that financial aid budgets stayed flat, leaving students less money to cover rising college costs.

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My View: Why I will vote for President Obama
President Barack Obama talks with teachers during a education roundtable at Canyon Springs High School in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 22, 2012.
October 24th, 2012
04:10 AM ET

My View: Why I will vote for President Obama

Courtesy Jack MillerBy Diane Ravitch, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Diane Ravitch was assistant secretary of education in the administration of George H.W. Bush. She is a historian of education and is now a research professor at New York University.  She is the author of several books on education, including her latest “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.”   She blogs daily at and can be followed on Twitter at @DianeRavitch.

Schools of Thought will be publishing other views on this topic in the days up to the election.

(CNN) - Over the past three years, I have been an outspoken critic of the education policies of the Obama administration. In my view, Race to the Top is a disastrous program that is almost indistinguishable from the Bush administration’s failed No Child Left Behind legislation. Both programs require teaching to the test, both encourage privatization of our public schools, and both have demoralized the nation’s educators while doing nothing to improve education.

But as bad as the Obama education policies are, they are tolerable in comparison to what Mitt Romney plans. Romney claims credit for the academic successes of Massachusetts, but he had nothing to do with the gains in that state, which were enacted 10 years before he became governor. The Massachusetts education reforms doubled the budget for public schools, increased spending on early childhood education, and raised standards for new teachers, but Romney intends to do none of that if elected President.

If elected president, Romney will curtail spending on everything except privatization of public education. He will lower standards for entering the teaching profession. His policies will devastate our public schools and dismantle the education profession. He supports charters and vouchers and welcomes the takeover of public schools by for-profit entrepreneurs. Unlike the Massachusetts reforms that he wrongly takes credit for, he offers not a single idea to improve public education. Romney nowhere acknowledges that free public education is a public responsibility and an essential institution in a democratic society.

Under a Romney administration, I fear not only for the future of public education but for the future of our society. Presently, nearly 25% of American children are growing up in poverty. We lead the advanced nations of the world in child poverty. Romney offers no proposals to reduce that scandalous number. Only government action can make a dent in a problem of that magnitude, but Romney believes in private charity, not government action.