I found this article that discusses what many in the college-access community are using to push schools with higher tuition: the high-tuition/high-aid model.  The article describes are critical piece that we often forget when considering financial aid: while the universities are raising their tuition but advertising an increase in aid, especially for low-income families, the rate that the tuition is increasing does not match the rate of the aid increasing, most often because the universities are using the extra monies intended for scholarships and grants to go towards anything but financial aid, and things that appeal more to middle- and upper-income families who would not receive aid.  In other words, you’re still better off going to a school with lower tuition.  I’ll add the smaller private colleges to that equation as well.  In California, I’m thinking of schools such as UC Merced, University of Redlands, St. Mary’s College, and San Francisco State.  Great schools.  Lower price tags or consistent aid-givers.  Take a look.