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Key Points

  • In 2019-20, full-time students at public two-year colleges must cover an average of about $8,600 in room and board after grant aid and tax benefits, in addition to paying for books and supplies and other living expenses.

  • Between 2009-10 and 2019-20, the increase in average grant aid and tax benefits covered only about $300 (15%) of the $2,000 increase in published tuition and fees for full-time in-state students at public four-year colleges and universities.

  • In 2019-20, full-time in-state students at public four-year colleges must cover an average of about $15,400 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.

  • The average net tuition and fee price paid by full-time students enrolled in private nonprofit four-year institutions increased from about $13,400 (in 2019 dollars) in 2011-12 to an estimated $14,400 in 2019-20; this net price remains below its level from 2001-02 through 2008-09.

  • In 2019-20, full-time students at private nonprofit four-year colleges must cover an average of about $27,400 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.

 

Figure 8: Average Published and Net Prices in 2019 Dollars, Full-Time In-District Undergraduate Students at Public Two-Year Institutions, 1999-00 to 2019-20

Figure 9: Average Published and Net Prices in 2019 Dollars, Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Students at Public Four-Year Institutions, 1999-00 to 2019-20

Figure 10: Average Published and Net Prices in 2019 Dollars, Full-Time Undergraduate Students at Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions, 1999-00 to 2019-20

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 2019-20 is not yet available, the net price for 2019-20 is estimated based on 2018-19 financial aid data. Room and board expenses in Figure 8 are estimated based on housing and food costs for commuter students.

SOURCES: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; Trends in Student Aid 2019; 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 19% of the sector’s full-time students. Excluding California would raise both the average published prices and the average estimated net prices.
  • 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 on average $1,500 more grant aid per student than in-state students. (NPSAS, 2016)
  • 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)