Is College Cheaper than we think?

Judith Scott-Clayton argues that college is not as expensive as it’s thought to be. I’m in the process of buying a car – wish the same would hold true for car sticker prices:

What has been buried in much of the resulting coverage is that while colleges’ published tuition and fees have indeed increased, these so-called “sticker prices” are not all that informative. For the average full-time student, net tuition – which subtracts grants and tax-based aid – is less than half of the published price at private nonprofit four-year schools and less than a third of the published price at the typical public four-year institution.

Moreover, trends in sticker prices and net prices have diverged over the past several years, such that many students are actually paying less now to attend college than they would have five years ago.