Getting a higher education is costing students more than ever before. While things like housing and gas prices are being slashed, universities are jacking up tuition rates during this tough economy.

According to a new report by "College Board", tuition at public four year universities rose 6% for both in-state and out-of state students. At the University of Washington, in-state tuition spiked 14% for in-state, and about 5% for out-of state students.

"We're looking at a reduction in funding from state support and we have to look at charging more in tuition for that reason," says UW Financial Aid Director Kay Lewis.

Lewis says the UW raised in-state at a higher rate because out-of state was already high. This year it costs a full time undergraduate $24,367 compared to about $7,692 for in-state.

At the same time, the report shows the availability of financial aid isn't keeping up with these climbing costs, which means more students are taking out loans, like UW sophomore Ethan Ramberg. He says he will have to pay back about $60,000 and that's not even counting interest.

"We're trying to pay as much as we can off the top the rest will be put on the backburner," says Ramberg.

Many universities report alumni donations are also down. There is good news for parents of college kids. Most can qualify for a $2,500 tax credit this year.

Here are tuition rates we found for other state universities. The most current numbers we found were for the 2008-2009 school year.

Central Washington University: $5,723 in-state, $15,596 out-of state

Eastern Washington University: $4,905 in-state, $13,749 out-of state

Washington State University: $7,565 in-state, $18,601 out-of state