Average Rates of Growth of Published Charges by Decade

Between 2007-08 and 2017-18, published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions increased at an average rate of 3.2% per year beyond inflation, compared with average annual increases of 4.0% and 4.4% over the two prior decades.

Figure 4A: Average Annual Percentage Increase in Inflation-Adjusted Published Prices by Decade, 1987-88 to 2017-18

Figure 4A represents Average Annual Percentage Increase in Inflation-Adjusted Published Prices by Decade, 1987-88 to 2017-18. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, download the Excel spreadsheet

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Each bar in Figure 4A shows the average annual rate of growth of published prices in inflation-adjusted dollars over a 10-year period. For example, from 2007-08 to 2017-18, average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year colleges increased 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.
 
SOURCE: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges.
  • The 3.2% average annual rate of increase in published in-state tuition and fees in the public four-year sector between 2007-08 and 2017-18 corresponds to an average annual increase of $270 in 2017 dollars, compared with $160 per year between 1987-88 and 1997-98 and $250 per year between 1997-98 and 2007-08. (Table 2)
  • The average annual rate of increase in published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year institutions declined from 3.3% between 1987-88 and 1997-98 to 2.7% over the next decade and to 2.4% between 2007-08 and 2017-18. The average dollar increase rose from $590 per year to $650 and to $720 over these decades. (Table 2)
  • Because room and board charges consistently rise more slowly than tuition and fees, the average annual rate of increase including room and board is lower than the rate of increase in tuition and fees.