Average Net Price over Time for Full-Time Students, by Sector

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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 did not.

Table 7: Published and Net Prices in 2015 Dollars by Sector, Full-Time Undergraduate Students, 1990-91 to 2015-16

Table 7 represents Published and Net Prices in 2015 Dollars by Sector, Full-Time Undergraduate Students, 1990-91 to 2015-16
  • Both average net tuition and fees and average net tuition and fees and room and board for full-time public two-year college students are lower in inflation-adjusted dollars in 2015-16 than they were in 2005-06 or in 1995-96.
  • In 2015-16, after considering grant aid and federal education tax credits and deductions, full-time students at private nonprofit four-year institutions pay average net tuition and fees of about $15,000, compared to an average published price of $32,410.
  • Since 2008-09, full-time students at public two-year colleges have received enough grant aid and tax benefits to cover published tuition and fees as well as a portion of other expenses. In 2015-16, on average after grant aid, full-time students at public two-year colleges must cover about $7,200 in housing and food costs in addition to books and supplies, transportation, and other living expenses.