Average Net Price for Full-Time Students over Time — Public Institutions

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Because of increases in grant aid and tax benefits, the average net price paid by full-time in‑state students enrolled in public four-year colleges and universities was $650 lower (in 2013 dollars) in 2009-10 than it had been two years earlier. However, between 2009-10 and 2013-14, the average net price increased from $1,940 (in 2013 dollars) to an estimated $3,120.

Table 7: Published Tuition and Fees, Net Tuition and Fees, and Room and Board in 2013 Dollars, Full-Time Undergraduate Students at Public Institutions, 1990-91 to 2013-14

Because financial aid data for 2013-14 are not yet available, financial aid and the resulting net prices for 2013-14 are preliminary estimates.

Notes & Sources 

NOTE: Prices have been rounded to the nearest $10.

SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; The College Board, Trends in Student Aid 2013; calculations by the authors.

  • In 2013-14, full-time students enrolled in public four-year institutions receive an estimated average of $5,770 in grant aid and tax benefits to help them pay the average published tuition and fees of $8,890.
  • Between 2008-09 and 2013-14, average published tuition and fees at public four‑year colleges and universities increased by about $1,880 (in 2013 dollars) from $7,010 to $8,890. About $1,180 of this $1,880 increase was covered by increases in grant aid from all sources and federal education tax credits and deductions, with the student share increasing by about $700.
  • The average full-time undergraduate enrolled in a public four-year college receives enough grant aid to cover a significant portion of tuition and fees, but not to cover any other expenses. As a result, total net price — including tuition and fees as well as room and board — equals the $3,120 in net tuition and fees plus the full $9,500 for room and board, yielding an estimated total net price of $12,620 in 2013-14.
  • In 2013-14, undergraduates enrolled full time in public two-year institutions receive an estimated average $4,810 in grant aid and tax benefits to help them pay for college.
  • In 2013-14, the average student enrolled full time in a public two-year college receives enough funding through federal tax benefits and grant aid from all sources to cover tuition and fees, plus about $1,550 in other expenses.