Students searching for colleges now have more information than ever -- from the federal government -- about what their choice might cost them and their families.
Updated lists released Thursday by the Department of Education show which colleges have the highest and lowest sticker prices and average net costs after financial aid.
The downloadable tables also include which institutions hiked their tuition and fees most steeply between 2009 and 2011; all nine undergraduate University of California campuses made that list, with increases of about 40 percent or higher.
The report on college costs is required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and was first published in 2011.
The federal government has recently created other tools for families, including the College Scorecard and Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. The latest College Affordability and Transparency Lists are at www.collegecost.ed.gov.