Below are some highlights from Trends in College Pricing 2021. Visit our resource library to see the full report, Excel data and PowerPoint presentation.
Published or Sticker Prices
In 2021-22, the average published (sticker) tuition and fees for full-time students are:
- Public four-year in-state: $10,740, $170 higher than in 2020-21 (1.6% before adjusting for inflation).
- Public four-year out-of-state: $27,560, $410 higher than in 2020-21 (1.5% before adjusting for inflation).
- Public two-year in-district: $3,800, $50 higher than in 2020-21 (1.3% before adjusting for inflation).
- Private nonprofit four-year: $38,070, $800 higher than in 2020-21 (2.1% before adjusting for inflation).
One Price Doesn't Fit All
Published college prices vary widely, depending on the type of institution and where it's located.
- Across the United States, average public two-year in-district tuition and fees range from $1,430 in California and $1,950 in New Mexico to $8,600 in Vermont.
- Average 2021-22 public four-year in-state tuition and fees range from $6,100 in Wyoming and $6,370 in Florida to $17,040 in New Hampshire and $17,750 in Vermont.
The majority of full-time undergraduate students receive grant aid that helps them pay for college.
- Since 2009-10, first-time full-time students at public two-year colleges have been receiving enough grant aid on average to cover their tuition and fees.
- Between 2006-07 and 2021-22, the average net tuition and fee price paid by first-time full-time in-state students enrolled in public four-year institutions is lowest in 2021-22 at an estimated $2,640, after peaking in 2012-13 at $3,720 (in 2021 dollars).
- Between 2006-07 and 2021-22, the average net tuition and fee price paid by first-time full-time students enrolled in private nonprofit four-year institutions is lowest in 2021-22 at an estimated $14,990.
The income gap between families with the lowest and highest incomes is growing.
- Between 1990 and 2020, the average income increased by 57% for the top quintile of families and by 12% for the lowest quintile of families.
2019-20 was the eighth year in a row that state and local funding per student increased after four years of decline. However, funding per student was still lower in 2019-20 than it was in 2007-08.
- In 2007-08, funding per student was $9,000 (in 2019 dollars).
- In 2019-20, funding per student was $8,640.
Between fall 2019 and 2020, total enrollment fell by 631,000 (3%). The public two-year sector saw the largest decline in enrollment—581,000 (9%). Total enrollment at the public four-year and private nonprofit four-year sectors declined by 0.7% while it increased by 33,000 (3%) at for-profit institutions.
- Total undergraduate enrollment (including full-time and part-time students) fell by 698,000 (4%).
- Total graduate student enrollment rose by 67,000.