Your high school kids are probably thinking about spring break, but you and your spouse are no doubt concerned about how to pay for college without breaking the family bank.
Millions of of American high school juniors are starting their college search, while seniors are deciding which school they'll actually attend.
In both cases, Mom and Dad might be tempted to vote with their wallets. After all, higher education is a business — and a very competitive one, governed by supply and demand and access to capital. In a phrase, it is a case study in free-market economics
Outsized increases in college tuition, fees, room and board are now largely suburban legend, but costs are still rising more than bellwether inflation indices. Nevertheless, attendance is rising.
The average cost of attendance at a four-year, in-state public school in 2010-2011 year was 6.1 percent more ($16,140) than the previous year; that of a four-year private university was 4.3 percent more ($36,993), according to the College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2010 report.