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Cold comfort

After rising 1200% over the last 35 years, surging US higher education costs are slowing, just barely

The decades-long surge in US higher education costs is slowing, very very slightly. At public schools, published tuition and fees for in-state students were up 2.9% from the 2012-13 academic year to 2013-14. That’s “the smallest one-year increase since 1975-76. After adjusting for inflation, the increase is 0.9%, the lowest inflation-adjusted increase since 2000-01,” according to the Conference Board, which put out the numbers.

The report didn’t make as big a deal about the 3.8% unadjusted increase in private college and university tuition and fees, noting only that they’re “slightly lower than the increases of recent years.” American students and parents can be forgiven if the news of a slight deceleration in costs is cold comfort. After all, the longer term trend looks like this.

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