Average Net Price over Time for Full-Time Students at Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions

After declining from $14,900 (in 2016 dollars) in 2006-07 to $12,770 in 2011-12, the average net tuition and fee price paid by full-time students at private nonprofit four-year institutions rose to an estimated $14,190 in 2016-17.

Figure 11: Average Published and Net Prices in 2016 Dollars, Full-Time Undergraduate Students at Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions, 1996-97 to 2016-17

Notes & Sources 

Notes: Estimates of net price exclude military/veterans aid, which awards relatively large amounts to a small number of students. Because information on grant aid and education tax benefits for 2016-17 is not yet available, the net price for 2016-17 is estimated based on 2015-16 financial aid data.

Sources: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; Trends in Student Aid 2016.

  • The average net tuition and fee price at private nonprofit four-year institutions is lower in 2016-17 than it was in 2006-07 because the increase in average grant aid and tax benefits was larger than the increase in published prices.
  • Between 2011-12 and 2016-17, average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit institutions rose by $3,780. The $2,360 increase in grant and tax benefits per student covered 62% of that increase.
  • Financial aid explains the gap between published and net tuition and fees. Average grant aid from all sources and federal education tax benefits covered 41% to 44% of published tuition and fees at private four-year institutions from 1996-97 through 2006-07. That percentage was between 57% and 59% from 2011-12 to 2016-17.
  • The average net tuition and fees and room and board price is $26,080 in 2016-17, an increase of 6% ($1,500 in 2016 dollars) over the last decade.