College tuition keeps soaring

SEATTLE – As students around the country’anxiously wait for college acceptance letters, their parents are’sweating the looming tuition bills at public universities. ‘ Florida college students could face yearly 15 percent tuition increases for years, and’University of Illinois students will pay at least’9 percent more. The University of Washington will charge’14 percent more at its’flagship campus. And in California, tuition increases of more than’30 percent have sparked protests reminiscent of the 1960s. ‘ Tuition has been trending upward for years, but debate in statehouses and trustee’meeting rooms has been more urgent this year as most states struggle their way out of the economic’meltdown. ‘ The College Board says’families are paying about’$172 to $1,096 more in tuition and fees this school year. The national average for’2009-10 is about $7,020, not’including room and board, according to the nonprofit’ association of colleges that’oversees the SATs and Advanced Placement tests. ‘ State officials have told Florida students they can expect’15 percent tuition increases every year until tuition reaches the national average. That could be a long slog, as the state is starting its tuition realignment from a place other students envy – about $3,000 a year.