A new report warns that six-figure tuitions are imminent, as the annual cost of attending several higher education institutions is set to hit $100,000 in coming years.

Former Secretary of Education and a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education where he also runs the Education Redesign Lab, Paul Reville joined Boston Public Radio on Thursday to break down the forces behind increased costs.

"It doesn't take any complex mathematics to get there. ... That's the natural progression going forward, it's emblematic of problem we have going forward," said Reville. "The highest priced schools are the most elite institutions but, further down the chain, we have prices at public institutions going steadily up, particularly as state support becomes a smaller and smaller percentage."

As admission rates have dropped, costs have increased, forcing smaller institutions to close, and putting strain on public institutions as well.

"The old model is breaking down in front of our eyes, enrollments are going down, people are dropping out than ever before, people cannot cope with the debt levels coming through," said Reville. "The old model of a four-year residential liberal arts college — of which maybe less than 10 percent of our population now graduate through that model, a four-year residential college — that's just coming under such heavy fire we're going to have to move in new directions and move quickly."