Tuition and Fee and Room and Board Charges over Time

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The annual increase in inflation-adjusted average tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities has declined in each of the past five years, from 9.5% in 2009‑10 to 0.9% in 2013-14.

Table 2: Average Tuition and Fee and Room and Board Charges, 1971-72 to 2013-14
Notes & Sources 

SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; NCES, IPEDS.

  • Average published tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities increased by 19% beyond the rate of inflation over the five years from 2003-04 to 2008-09, and by another 27% between 2008-09 and 2013-14.
  • The 14% real increase in average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year institutions from 2008‑09 to 2013‑14 was larger than the 9% increase over the previous five years.
  • The annual increase in inflation-adjusted average published tuition and fees at public two-year colleges declined from 10.2% in 2009-10 to 5.4% in 2010‑11 and to 4.6% in 2011‑12 and 2012‑13, and was 1.5% in 2013-14.
  • Average published tuition and fees at public two-year colleges increased by just 4% in inflation-adjusted dollars, from $2,425 (in 2013 dollars) in 2003-04 to $2,530 in 2008-09, but by 29%, to $3,264 in 2013-14.
  • In both the public four-year and private nonprofit four‑year sectors, the largest one-year percentage increase in the constant dollar published price for tuition, fees, and room and board from 2003-04 to 2013-14 was in 2009‑10.