The New York Times has an article on why tuition has increased so much at state universities. The graph is pretty startling.

Here’s a chart showing price changes in these categories. The lines represent the price in a given year, as a percent of the price in 1985. For example, if a line reaches 200, that means prices in that year were 200 percent of those in 1985, or twice as high.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

College tuition and fees today are 559 percent of their cost in 1985. In other words, they have nearly sextupled (while consumer prices have roughly doubled).