Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time

Online Only!

Between 2011-12 and 2016-17, published tuition and fee prices rose by 9% in the public four-year sector, by 11% at public two-year colleges, and by 13% at private nonprofit four-year institutions, after adjusting for inflation.

Table 2: Average Tuition and Fees and Room and Board (Enrollment-Weighted) in Current Dollars and in 2016 Dollars, 1971-72 to 2016-17

Notes & Sources 

Notes: Average tuition and fee prices reflect in-district charges for public two-year institutions and in-state charges for public four-year institutions.

Sources: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; NCES, IPEDS data.

  • Average published tuition and fees in the public four-year sector rose by 2.9%, 3.0%, and 2.4% in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17, respectively, the smallest current dollar increases since the mid-1970s (online Table 2). The inflation-adjusted increases were 1.0% in 2014-15, 2.8% in 2015-16, and 1.6% in 2016-17.
  • Average published tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities increased by 9% in 2016 dollars over the five years from 2011-12 to 2016-17, following a 29% increase between 2006-07 and 2011-12.
  • Average published tuition and fees at public two-year colleges and universities increased by 11% in 2016 dollars over the five years from 2011-12 to 2016-17, following an 18% increase between 2006-07 and 2011-12.
  • Average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities increased by 13% in 2016 dollars over the five years from 2011-12 to 2016-17, the same as between  2006-07 and 2011-12.