beginning of content:

Key Points

  • In 2018-19, full-time students at public two-year colleges must cover about $8,300 in room and board on average after grant aid and tax benefits, in addition to paying for books and supplies and other living expenses.
  • After declining (in 2018 dollars) from about $0 in 1998-99 to -$400 in 2002-03, average net tuition and fees at public two-year colleges rose to about $400 in 2006-07. With the increases in federal aid, it declined to a low of about -$1,000 in 2010-11, but has risen to an estimated -$400 in 2018-19.
  • Between 2008-09 and 2018-19, the average published tuition and fees at public two-year colleges increased by $930 (34%) after adjusting for inflation. Average combined grant aid and tax benefits increased by over $1,300 (almost 50%) over the decade.
  • In 2018-19, full-time in-state students at public four-year colleges must cover an average of about $14,900 in tuition and fees and room and board after grant aid and tax benefits, in addition to paying for books and supplies and other living expenses.
  • Between 2008-09 and 2018-19, the average published tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities increased by $2,670 (35%) in 2018 dollars. Average combined grant aid and tax benefits increased by about $1,500 (about 30%) over the decade.
  •  The average published tuition and fee price for in-state students at public four-year institutions rose by $2,030 (27%) between 2008-09 and 2013-14. Average grant aid and tax benefits per full-time student in the sector rose by about $1,200 (25%). Over the next five years, tuition and fees rose by $640 (7%) and aid rose by about $300 (5%).
  • In 2018-19, full-time students at private nonprofit four-year colleges must cover an average of about $27,300 in tuition and fees and room and board after grant aid and tax benefits, in addition to paying for books and supplies and other living expenses.
  • Between 2008-09 and 2018-19, both the average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities and the average grant aid and tax benefits per student increased by about $7,400 in 2018 dollars. The average net tuition and fee price declined through 2011-12 and then rose to about the same level as at the beginning of the decade.
  •  Average grant aid from all sources and federal education tax benefits covered 42% to 45% of published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year institutions from 1998-99 through 2007-08, compared with between 57% and 60% since 2010-11.

 

Figure 8: Average Published and Net Prices in 2018 Dollars, Full-Time In-District Undergraduate Students at Public Two-Year Institutions, 1998-99 to 2018-19

Average Published and Net Prices in 2018 Dollars, Full-Time In-District Undergraduate Students at Public Two-Year Institutions, 1998-99 to 2018-19

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 2018-19 is not yet available, the net price for 2018-19 is estimated based on 2017-18 financial aid data. Room and board expense in this sector refers to housing and food costs for commuter students since few community colleges provide on-campus housing.

SOURCES: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; Trends in Student Aid 2018; NCES, IPEDS Fall Enrollment and Student Financial Aid data.

Figure 9: Average Published and Net Prices in 2018 Dollars, Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Students at Public Four-Year Institutions, 1998-99 to 2018-19

Average Published and Net Prices in 2018 Dollars, Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Students at Public Four-Year Institutions, 1998-99 to 2018-19

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 2018-19 is not yet available, the net price for 2018-19 is estimated based on 2017-18 financial aid data.

SOURCES: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; Trends in Student Aid 2018; NCES, IPEDS Fall Enrollment data.

Figure 10: Average Published and Net Prices in 2018 Dollars, Full-Time Undergraduate Students at Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions, 1998-99 to 2018-19

Average Published and Net Prices in 2018 Dollars, Full-Time Undergraduate Students at Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions, 1998-99 to 2018-19

SOURCES: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; Trends in Student Aid 2018; NCES, IPEDS Fall Enrollment and Student Financial Aid data.

Also Important

  • California, which has the lowest public two-year tuition and fees in the nation, enrolls about 18% of the sector’s full-time students. Excluding California would raise both the average published prices and the average estimated net prices.
  • The estimated average Pell Grant funding per full-time public two-year college student was about $350 lower (in 2018 dollars) in 2018-19 than in 2010-11.
  • In 2015-16, 13% of full-time students at public four-year institutions were residents of other states. As reported in Table 1, out-of-state students face much higher tuition prices than in-state students. In 2015-16, full-time out-of-state students received $1,500 more grant aid per student than in-state students. (NPSAS, 2016)
  • About 45% of the increase in grant aid per student at public four-year colleges and universities between 2008-09 and 2018-19 came from increases in institutional grant aid.
  • In 2018-19, almost 70% of the $21,200 in aid per student that lowers net prices for full-time students in the private nonprofit four-year sector comes from colleges and universities in the form of discounts from their published prices.
  • In 2015-16, 75% of full-time students at private nonprofit four-year institutions received grant aid from their institutions. Thirty-six percent received federal grant aid and 22% received state grant aid. (NPSAS, 2016)