In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Kevin Helliker discusses this year’s hike in tuition for undergraduate programs. As the graph from the article (below) shows, the average tuition for in-state students at public four-year program colleges and universities increased from $7, 613 to $8,244 (8.3%) from the 2010-11 school year to the 2011-12 school year and it increased from $19,648 to $20,770 (5.7%) for out-of-state students. Tuition also climbed for public two-year in-state programs by 8.7% and for private nonprofit four-year programs by 4.5%. According to Helliker, the “the markedly quicker” increase in tuition experienced by public schools compared to that of private schools is part of a “decade-long trend” in which the price gap between the two has narrowed. While some might argue that this is placing an ill-timed burden on students and their families, Helliker points out that large increases in Pell Grants and veteran benefits and the implementation of the American Opportunity Tax Credit has substantially offset the effects of tuition increases.