Over the past 20 years, the cost of college tuition has increased at a rate outpacing both wage growth and inflation. That means it's been taking a bigger and bigger piece of the average family's budget for two decades.

As a result, parents and students alike are quick to cross an expensive college or university off their search lists before ever investigating further. But Motley Fool contributor Brian Stoffel argues that by doing so, a lot of families are missing out on some pretty great deals.

With a million different sources regarding financial aid available on the Web, it can be difficult to know where to look. But Brian has found one site that -- using official data from the U.S. Department of Education -- is able to help families easily and quickly calibrate their tuition expectations to reasonable levels.  

Watch the following video to find out where to find this information, and what precautions need to be taken when digesting all of the numbers.