Cost of attending college rises again

A new study reveals that the cost of attending public four-year colleges and universities is increasing considerably.

According to The College Board, the percentage increase in average tuition and fees at public universities this school year was higher than the increases for private schools, marking the fifth-straight year that's been the case.

The report – Trends in College Pricing – contends that the higher average cost of attending public universities was largely influenced by the state of California, as the Golden State enrolls approximately 10 percent of the nation's college students who go to public universities. Furthermore, in-state tuition and fees for California's higher learning facilities rose 21 percent this academic year, more than any other state.

"While the importance of a college degree has never been greater, its rapidly rising price is an overwhelming obstacle to many students and families," said Gaston Caperton, president of The College Board. "This report is yet another reminder that we must do more to help disadvantaged students, many of whom face additional barriers to college that are not financial."

With the average student graduating with $22,000 in debt, making consistent, regular payments to pay off these loans can maintain credit scores in a healthy range.