Published Tuition and Fees Relative to 1987-88, by Sector

In 2017-18, the average in-state tuition and fee price in the public four-year sector is over three times as high in inflation-adjusted dollars as it was in 1987-88. In the public two-year and private nonprofit four-year sectors, published prices are 2.25 and 2.29 times as high in 2017-18 as they were in 1987-88, respectively.

Figure 4B: Inflation-Adjusted Published Tuition and Fees Relative to 1987-88, 1987-88 to 2017-18 (1987-88 = 1.0)

Figure 4B represents Inflation-Adjusted Published Tuition and Fees Relative to 1987-88, 1987-88 to 2017-18 (1987-88 = 1.0). For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, download the Excel spreadsheet

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Figure 4B shows published tuition and fees by sector, adjusted for inflation, relative to 1987-88 published prices. For example, a value of 3.13 indicates that the tuition and fee price in the public four-year sector in 2017-18 is 3.13 times as high as it was in 1987-88, after adjusting for 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 rates of increase in published tuition and fees were similar across all three sectors of nonprofit higher education between 1987-88 and 2000-01. However, from 2001-02 through 2011-12, the growth rate of prices at public four-year institutions exceeded that in other sectors. In 2013-14 and more recent years, the highest rate of increase has been at private nonprofit four-year institutions. (Table 2)