Average Net Price over Time for Full-Time Students at Public Four-Year Institution

Between 2005-06 and 2010-11, average net tuition and fees declined for full-time in-state students at public four-year institutions. However, between 2010-11 and 2015-16, average net tuition and fees in this sector rose rapidly as published prices continued to rise, but grant aid and tax benefits per student leveled off.

Figure 12: Average Published and Net Prices in 2015 Dollars, Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Students at Public Four-Year Institutions, 1995-96 to 2015-16

Figure 12 represents Average Published and Net Prices in 2015 Dollars, Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Students at Public Four-Year Institutions, 1995-96 to 2015-16. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, see http://trends.collegeboard.org

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Because information on grant aid and education tax benefits for 2015-16 is not yet available, the net price for 2015-16 is estimated based on 2014-15 financial aid data. . Total grant aid includes federal Pell Grants, federal SEOG, state grants, institutional grants, private and employer grants.  Prices and grant aid are rounded to the nearest $10.

SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; Trends in Student Aid 2015.

  • In 2015-16, full-time students at public four-year institutions pay average net tuition and fees, after considering grant aid and federal education tax credits and deductions, of about $4,000, compared to an average published price of $9,410. These students face an additional $10,140 in room and board charges.
  • Both published tuition and fees and published tuition and fees and room and board grew more rapidly in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2005-06 and 2010-11 than in the most recent five years. However, because of the dramatic increase in federal student aid between 2007-08 and 2010-11 and the subsequent leveling off after that, average net tuition and fees increased by about 50% between 2010-11 and 2015-16.
  • Average published tuition and fees for in‑state students at public four-year colleges and universities increased from $4,400 (in 2015 dollars) in 1995-96 to $6,710 in 2005-06 and to $9,410 in 2015-16. The average net tuition and fees students pay after taking grant aid from all sources and federal education tax credits and deductions into consideration increased from $2,300 (in 2015 dollars) to $2,880 and to $3,980 over these years.