Nonetheless, tuition is increasing as well. In some cases it's increasing faster than inflation and, in the age of hush-hush stagflation, it's certainly increasing faster than income. If you are not from a family with a comfortable pool of wealth, the price of college will quickly put you and your family in serious debt.
There have been plenty of reports about this and its presumed causes. University administrators often point out - correctly - that the cost of educating a student has been increasing; the prices reflect that cost, not new revenue for the institutions. In Nevada, budgetary constraints are prompting a surcharges and tuition increases.
Congress has also been trying to help, sorta. The Bush Administration, and its supporters in Congress, have long seen debt as no terrible thing. The Democrats have made college affordability part of their New Direction and '08 campaign platforms. Loan interest rates have been reduced. More may be done in the near future.
Last week, the a House committee referred out legislation to address college affordability. Primarily, the goal is to increase the amounts available through PLUS and Stafford loans, but also to provide relief for parents and students who's ability to re-pay has been compromised by the mortgage crisis.
Last month, the House had passed similar legislation that included a piracy rider. This would have forced universities to combat (and, presumably, show headway against) illegal media and software downloading through their campus networks. That bill got through the Senate without the rider, but has since been tabled (killed).