College affordability based on price alone doesn't paint a full picture, because it leaves out relevant metrics like economic returns and completion rates, according to a study released today.

The study, " The Affordability Conundrum: Value, Price and Choice in Higher Education Today," was a joint effort of the Manhattan Institute, New America's Education Policy and the American Enterprise Institute. It calls into question the common belief that college is becoming more unaffordable.

Study authors Beth Akers, Kim Dance and Jason Delisle find that much of that belief is rooted in the Lumina Foundation's "Rule of 10," a widely-accepted price-based benchmark to college affordability that says: "Students should pay no more for college than the savings generated through 10 percent of discretionary income for 10 years and the earnings from working 10 hours a week while in school."

According to the study, 77 percent of undergrads in the U.S. are paying more than what the Rule of 10 suggests is affordable, with the average student paying twice the amount indicated, often assisted by loans and work earnings.

Read more at the Denver Business Journal: