After decades of hearing how college costs were spiraling out of control, here's some good news: The average net cost of a year at a four-year public college or university, including tuition, fees, room and board, fell to $14,880 in 2018–19.
That's down slightly from $14,910 in 2017–18, although the trend isn't in place for all schools. The net price for four-year private schools was $27,290, which was up slightly from $27,160 last year.
The reason for this is that the sticker price for higher education continues to inch up even though fewer students actually pay it, according an annual pricing-trends report by the College Board. Grants and tax benefits climbed to $21,220 this year, up from $13,860 in 2008 (in 2018 dollars) at private schools. At public institutions they rose to $6,490 this year, from $4,970 in 2008.