March 6th, 2013
04:11 PM ET

Public college tuition spiked 8.3% last year

By Melanie Hicken, CNNMoney

New York (CNNMoney) - Tuition at public colleges and universities spiked to record levels last year, according to a new report.

Average tuition costs - the amount students paid in tuition and fees after state and institutional aid was taken into account - rose by 8.3% to an average of $5,189 in the 2011-12 school year, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association reported. In the previous academic year, students paid an average of $4,793.

At the same time, state and local funding for operating expenses, research and student aid fell by 9% to $5,896, the lowest level in 25 years, said association president Paul Lingenfelter.

"State support hasn't been able to keep pace with enrollment growth," he said.

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Public enrollment has exploded in the past decade, increasing by more than 30%, Lingenfelter said. Today, public college students represent more than 70% of all post-secondary students.

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