Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, average published tuition and fee prices increased by 2.9% for in-state students in the public four-year sector, by 3.3% for out-of-state students in the public four-year sector and for in-district students at public two-year colleges, and by 3.7% at private nonprofit four-year institutions. These increases are higher than the 2.0% increase in the Consumer Price Index between July 2013 and July 2014, but in all sectors these price increases are lower than the average annual increases in the past five years, the past 10 years, and the past 30 years.
Trends in College Pricing 2014 reports on the prices charged by colleges and universities in 2014-15, how prices have changed over time, and how they vary within and across types of institutions, states, and regions. We also include information on the estimated net prices students and families pay after taking financial aid into consideration. Data on institutional revenues and expenditures and on changing enrollment patterns over time supplement the data on prices to provide a clearer picture of the circumstances of students and the institutions in which they study.
PUBLISHED TUITION AND FEES AND ROOM AND BOARD
The increases in in-state published tuition and fees at public four-year institutions of 2.9% in 2014-15 and 2.8% in 2013-14 are the only increases since 1974-75 that have been less than 3% (not adjusted for inflation).
- Average published tuition and fees for in‐state students in the public four‐year sector increased by $254 (2.9%), from $8,885 in 2013-14 to $9,139 in 2014-15. Room and board charges are $9,804.
- Average published out-of-state tuition and fees at public fouryear institutions rose by $735 (3.3%), from $22,223 in 2013-14 to $22,958 in 2014-15. Average total charges are $32,762.
- Average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit fouryear institutions rose by $1,100 (3.7%), from $30,131 to $31,231 in 2014-15. Average total charges are $42,419.
- Average published tuition and fees at public two-year colleges increased by $106 (3.3%), from $3,241 in 2013-14 to $3,347 in 2014-15.
- Estimated average tuition and fees for full-time students in the for-profit sector increased by about $190 (1.3%), from $15,040 in 2013-14 to $15,230 in 2014-15.
- About two-thirds of full-time students pay for college with the assistance of grant aid; many receive federal tax credits and deductions to help cover expenses.
VARIATION IN TUITION AND FEES
Among full-time undergraduates at public and private nonprofit four-year institutions, the median published tuition and fee price in 2014-15 is $11,550.
- Twelve percent of full-time students in the public four-year sector attend institutions that did not increase their tuition prices at all in 2014-15 and another 43% faced increases below 3%; 5% of students attend institutions that increased their prices by 9% or more.
- In the private nonprofit four-year sector, 65% of full-time students attend institutions that increased their tuition and fees by between 3% and 6% in 2014-15; 30% attend institutions that increased their prices by less than 3%, and 2% faced increases of 9% or more.
- The average published in-state tuition and fee price for undergraduates enrolled at public master’s universities is $7,968, compared to $10,075 at public doctoral universities.
- The average published tuition and fee price for undergraduates enrolled at private nonprofit master’s universities is $27,594, compared to $39,008 at private doctoral universities.
- Published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions range from $4,646 in Wyoming and $6,138 in Alaska to $14,419 in Vermont and $14,712 in New Hampshire.
- In-district tuition and fees at public two-year colleges range from $1,429 in California and $1,645 in New Mexico to $6,500 in New Hampshire and $7,320 in Vermont.
- In 2014-15, published tuition and fees for in-state students at flagship universities range from $4,646 at the University of Wyoming and $6,099 at the University of Montana to $16,552 at the University of New Hampshire and $18,464 at Penn State.
- In 15 states, average in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions increased by less than 10% in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2009-10 and 2014-15. In 18 states the increase was 20% or more.
- California’s 58% inflation-adjusted increase in average published tuition and fees for full-time students at public two-year colleges between 2009-10 and 2014-15 was second only to Louisiana’s 62%, but California’s price remains the lowest in the country.
- In 2014-15, the published out-of-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions range from $9,910 in South Dakota and $14,876 in Wyoming to $31,982 in Michigan and $34,331 in Vermont.