Average Rates of Growth of Published Charges by Decade

Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions increased at an average rate of 3.4% per year beyond inflation, compared to average annual rates of increase of 4.2% between 1985-86 and 1995-96 and 4.3% between 1995-96 and 2005-06.

Figure 5: Average Annual Percentage Increase in Inflation-Adjusted Published Prices by Decade, 1985-86 to 2015-16

Figure 5 represents Average Annual Percentage Increase in Inflation-Adjusted Published Prices by Decade, 1985-86 to 2015-16. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, see http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing.

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Each bar in Figure 5 shows the average annual rate of growth of published prices in inflation-adjusted dollars over a 10-year period. For example, from 2005-06 to 2015-16, average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year colleges rose by an average of 2.4% per year beyond increases in the Consumer Price Index. Average tuition and fee prices reflect in-district charges for public two-year institutions and in-state charges for public four-year institutions.

SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; NCES, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • The average annual rate of increase of published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year institutions declined from 3.5% between 1985-86 and 1995-96 to 3.0% between 1995-96 and 2005-06 and to 2.4% between 2005-06 and 2015-16.
  • Room and board charges consistently rise more slowly than tuition and fees, but over the most recent decade, the gap between these rates of growth was small by historical standards in both the public and private nonprofit four-year sectors.