There's little debate that college costs have risen over the past decade and that the increase has hit the wallets of families hard — especially those in the greatest need.
In 1990-91, tuition and fees plus room and board at the state's four-year colleges cost 15 percent of median household income. By 2009-10, those costs equaled about 29 percent of median household income, according to the public policy research organization Demos and the liberal-leaning nonprofit Center for Public Policy Priorities.
Why have costs risen? Pinpointing an answer is not clear-cut.
The usual suspects are: state funding declines, additional funding needed to teach more and sometimes needier students, and faculty and administrative costs.