This certainly won't put a dent in the $1.4 trillion in student loan debt facing American borrowers.

Graduate receiving a diploma, close-up of hands
Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay, ThinkStock

According to the College Board's 2017 Trends in Higher Education reports, colleges and universities continue to post modest annual increases in tuition and fees.

And those increases are outpacing any growth in grant aid, meaning students and parents are being asked to put more out of their pockets to cover the cost of a postsecondary education.

In New Jersey, tuition and fees at a public two-year institution has an average price tag of $4,870 — a 10 percent increase over the past five years when adjusted for inflation, the College Board finds.

In-state tuition at a New Jersey public four-year school costs $13,870 — a 5 percent jump since 2012-2013. The same school costs nearly double that for an out-of-state student.

Leslie Beck, senior financial planner with Compass Wealth Management in Rutherford, noted these costs don't include other expenses such as room and board.

"It's one of the big reasons why parents tend to prefer that their children go in state," she said.

Beck said she's seeing more students attend community college for two years to begin their postsecondary journey, then transfer to their school of choice to round out their education. The move cuts costs tremendously, she said.

Two-year schools accounted for about 45 percent of all full-time enrollment at public schools in New Jersey in Fall 2015, the College Board reports.

Beck said affording college is a "big concern" among the parents and students she sees in her office. Rarely has a parent continually contributed to a savings plan that would adequately cover their child's education.

"By the time it actually starts to become a concern, it's really too late," Beck said.

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