Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time

Online Only!

Published tuition and fees increased at about the same rate in current dollars in 2015-16 as in the preceding two years. However, because the Consumer Price Index increased by less than 0.2% between July 2014 and July 2015, the inflation-adjusted increase was larger in 2015-16.

Table 2: Average Tuition and Fees and Room and Board (Enrollment-Weighted) in Current Dollars and in 2015 Dollars, 1971-72 to 2015-16

Table 2 represents Table 2B Average Tuition and Fees and Room and Board in 2015 Dollars, 2005-06 to 2015-16

Notes & Sources 

NOTE: Average tuition and fee prices reflect in-district charges for public two-year institutions and in-state charges for public four-year institutions.

Sources: 1987-88 and after: data from Annual Survey of Colleges, the College Board, weighted by full-time undergraduate enrollment; 1986-87 and prior: data from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, weighted by full-time equivalent enrollment.

  • Average published tuition and fees in the public four-year sector rose by 2.8%, 2.9%, and 2.9% in 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16, respectively, the smallest current dollar increases since the mid-1970s (online Table 2). The inflation-adjusted increases were 0.8% in 2013-14, 0.9% in 2014-15, and 2.7% in 2015-16.
  • Average published tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities increased by 13% in 2015 dollars over the five years from 2010-11 to 2015-16, following a 24% increase between 2005-06 and 2010-11.
  • Average published tuition and fees at public two-year colleges and universities increased by 14% in 2015 dollars over the five years from 2010-11 to 2015-16, following a 13% increase between 2005-06 and 2010-11.
  • Average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities increased by 11% in 2015 dollars over the five years from 2010-11 to 2015-16, following a 14% increase between 2005-06 and 2010-11.