Certain states have been harder hit than others. Five of the 33 public universities with the highest net price, for example, are in Ohio. Six public universities in Georgia saw tuition increases that were higher than 40 percent. The University of California in Berkeley and Los Angeles also saw big price jumps.
The data released by the Education Department goes up until the 2010-11 school year, and in some states, tuition increased again last year.
Cook advised students to look at the data in context: Some schools with big rate increases, for example, still have tuition that is below the nationwide average.
"I think there is more comprehensive information that could be provided contextual information that could be provided for these lists if we really want to provide students and families with the most information to make a good decision about going to college," he said.
There were some bright spots in the data. Community colleges, Duncan noted, remain one of the most consistently affordable options for higher education: The average net price of a community college increased by less than 1 percent between 2007 and 2009. Tuition, room and board average $8,085 at a public, two-year institution in 2010.
"While community colleges have mostly done their part, there is much more the rest of us can and should be doing," Duncan said. "Keeping college affordable is a shared responsibility."
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