Will 2013 be the year when the student debt bubble pops, raining havoc down upon us all in the form of economic destruction? Eh, who knows. What we do know is that college prices, which have been shooting skyward for many years as institutions reaped every last dollar they could from the public's hope and ignorance, are now slowly—ever so slowly—calming down.

Which is not to say the prices are going down. That's crazy. Not at all. But they are not going up quite so fast. The WSJ reports today:

Average tuition this past year rose by the smallest percentage in at least 40 years among the 960 private schools that belong to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which collectively enroll 90% of the students in private colleges. It climbed 3.9% to $29,305.

Perhaps $29,999.99 is as high as the American college student is prepared to go. No matter—it's already too late.

[WSJ. Image via]