One good piece of news is that when you deduct grants, other aid, and work study earnings from official tuition, the cost to families (other than interest on any loans) has risen more slowly than the official tuition numbers.
Certainly scholarships and grants are covering a larger portion of college costs. A 2013 study by Sallie Mae had scholarships and grants covering 30 percent of college costs, up from 25 percent for years earlier.
But borrowing to pay for college has been rising steadily as well. Average loans for higher education rose 45 percent from 2000 to 2012, to $4,500 according to federal data. At private colleges, average debt rose 22 percent to $6,200. And the Discover survey found that parents say they are less likely to help their children repay loans than they were a year ago.