Based on NCAN’s calculation, an average student would still on the hook for $2,118 at a four-year public college in 2017-18 even after taking into account all aid, loans and family contributions. That’s an increase from $1,174 in 2012-13. The amount, which NCAN calls an affordability gap, has also grown at community colleges, rising from $87 to $453 over the same period.
NCAN also identified disparities in college affordability by state. Eight states — including Arizona, Massachusetts and Wisconsin — did not have a public four-year college NCAN considered affordable between 2012-13 and 2016-17.