Published Tuition and Fees Relative to 1988-89, by Sector

In 2018-19, the average in-state tuition and fee price in the public four-year sector is about three times as high in inflation-adjusted dollars as it was in 1988-89. In the public two-year and private nonprofit four-year sectors, published prices are 2.15 and 2.11 times as high in 2018-19 as they were in 1988-89, respectively.
 

Figure 4B: Inflation-Adjusted Published Tuition and Fees Relative to 1988-89, 1988-89 to 2018-19 (1988-89 = 1.0)

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Figure 4B shows published tuition and fees by sector, adjusted for inflation, relative to 1988-89 published prices. For example, a value of 3.04 indicates that the tuition and fee price in the public four-year sector in 2018-19 is 3.04 times as high as it was in 1988-89, 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;NCES, IPEDS Fall Enrollment data.

 
 
  • Published tuition and fee prices moved at about the same rate in the public two-year and four-year sectors from 1988-89 through 1999-00, rising by about 50%. By 2009-10, however, the public four-year price had risen by another 63%, compared with just 21% at public two-year colleges. Since that time, the rate of price increase has been similar in the two sectors.