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

In 2016-17, the estimated average net tuition and fee price paid by full-time in-state students at public four-year institutions is $3,770, $860 (in 2016 dollars) higher than the net price a decade earlier and $1,550 higher than the 2009-10 low of $2,220.

Figure 10: Average Published and Net Prices in 2016 Dollars, Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Students at Public 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.

  • In 2016-17, the average full-time in-state public four-year college student receives an estimated $5,880 in grant aid and federal tax benefits, covering 61% of the $9,650 published tuition and fee price.
  • Average published tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year colleges and universities increased by $2,790 (in 2016 dollars) between 2006-07 and 2016-17. The $1,930 increase in average grant aid from all sources and federal education tax credits and deductions covered 69% of this price increase.
  • Average published tuition and fees grew by only 9% in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2011-12 and 2016-17, after rising by 29% over the preceding five years. However, because of the dramatic increase in federal student aid between 2007-08 and 2010-11 and the subsequent leveling off, average net tuition and fees increased by about 22% from 2011-12 to 2016-17, compared to 7% over the preceding five years.
  • In 2016-17, the average full-time in-state student at a public four-year institution faces an average of $14,210 in charges for tuition and fees and room and board combined, net of grant aid and tax benefits.