Attending college now costs 4 times as much as it cost in 2002.

The 439% increase in college tuition and fees between 1982 and 2006 has put college out of reach for most Americans and is greatly increasing the debt burden of those who do enroll, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, San Jose, Calif.

The Consumer Price Index rose only 106% over the same period, the cost of medical care increased 251%, and the average family income rose just 147%, the center reports.