California's public universities have the fastest-rising tuition, according to a U.S. Department of Education ranking of college costs released Tuesday. But California is also home to some of the cheapest overall -- including those in Kern County.

Cal State Bakersfield has one of the lowest "net prices" for public four-year universities in the nation, ranking at No. 31. Net cost -- which takes into account room, board, books and discounts from financial aid -- is $4,622, according to the department. The national average for net price is $10,471.

Three Kern County community colleges rank among two-year colleges with the "lowest tuition." Cerro Coso Community College in Ridgecrest ranks 60th ($728 with tuition and fees); Bakersfield College ranks 79th ($766); and Taft College ranks 91st ($780). The national average for community college tuition is $2,721.

No public university in California appears on the list of four-year schools with the lowest tuition.

Seven University of California campuses and three California State University campuses are among the top 5 percent of public colleges in the nation with the fastest-rising tuition, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

-- Jorge Barrientos, Californian staff

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