Tuition costs rose slightly faster than the Consumer Price Index last year, and students received record amounts of financial aid, according to the annual reports on college pricing and student aid released Oct. 29 by the College Board. But many education experts said the report’s findings, based on data gathered before the current economic downturn, might already be outdated, reports the New York Times. With the troubles in the stock market, they said, both public and private colleges soon might be in serious financial straits, forcing large increases in tuition. "Given the economic strain on state budgets, the pressure on state governments to shift the cost of education to students and families may prove irresistible," said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, which represents 1,600 colleges and universities. "Private institutions, too, given the loss of endowment income and expected cutbacks in private giving, will likely be forced to increase tuition at the same time they struggle to increase institutional financial aid." Already, state cuts to university budgets have led to announcements of tuition increases in more than a dozen states, including some that will take effect in the spring semester. But as the costs of college rise, so does student aid. Last year, the reports said, graduate and undergraduate students received more than $143 billion in financial aid, including grants, federal loans, federal work-study assistance, and federal tax credits. In addition, they borrowed $19 billion from state and private sources…

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