When those college tuition bills come in, be prepared for sticker shock.

The average cost of attending a four-year public university increased by 15 percent over a two-year period, fueled by state budget cuts and tuition increases of 40 percent or more at universities in Georgia, Arizona and California.

The U.S. Education Department released the figures Tuesday in its annual look at college affordability.

Pennsylvania State University had the highest in-state tuition for a four-year public university at $15,250. When the costs of room, board and other expenses are factored in, the net price rises to $19,816.

For-profit college costs are also skyrocketing, and in some cases they are twice as expensive as Harvard.

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