The cost of education really has sky-rocketed. Perhaps a study or two needs to be done on the real cost of education...
There have been and continue to be many studies examining the costs of higher education. Some posters have already mentioned the shift in education from a "public good" to a "private good" and the consequent reduction in state funding and that certainly plays a large role in rising tuition and fees.
Just as importantly, education is a manpower-intensive process; typically, between 70-80 percent of a college or university budget is personnel costs. That means that some of the other costs that have dramatically risen in the last couple of decades, especially health care, have hit education (and other manpower-intensive fields) particularly hard. Further, many industries have seen huge efficiency gains through the use of technology so their costs have gone down. Education, on the other hand, hasn't experienced similar efficiency gains. Education is as complex as the people who are being educated so there are rarely huge gains in efficiencies such as those gained in most other industries through increases in scale.
Yes, we can do better and technology can play a role in that. But that, too, takes time and money to figure out and implement. It's hard to invent a new swimming stroke when you're fighting just to tread water and that's what it feels like to many of us.