Many colleges relying more heavily on tuition and fees, says report

Although earning a degree can be a real investment in your future, it's also never been more expensive. With many schools increasing their tuition, filling out college applications can be daunting. According to a new study published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, universities are relying on tuition fees more than in previous years.

The report revealed that the percentage of many universities' budgets made up of tuition fees increased from between 16 and 22 percent in 1999, to between 29 and 40 percent in 2009.

Some states, such as Florida, have been debating increasing tuition at public universities. According to the Palm Beach Post, schools such as Florida State University and the University of Florida are considering raising tuition to meet the national average. The news source reports that public schools in the state currently charge an average of $5,626 per year, compared to the national average of $8,214.

When you're doing a college search, think carefully about tuition fees. Although you may be able to afford a school during your freshman year, consider how tuition hikes could affect you further down the road. Financial aid packages such as scholarships can really help offset the cost of tuition. Many students don't realize how many scholarship programs are available. Talk to your college admissions adviser about what kinds of scholarships are offered by the schools you're interested in.

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