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2008 Spotlight

Community College

Section 1. Institutional Characteristics

Tuition and Fees

In 2006–07, the average annual tuition and fees for a full-time, in-state student attending a community college were $2,017.10 This amount was less than half the average annual tuition and fees at public 4-year colleges and universities for full-time, in-state students ($5,685) and about one-tenth the average annual tuition and fees at private 4-year colleges and universities ($20,492) (see table SA-6).

Between 1976–77 and 2006–07, average tuition and fees at community colleges increased by 105 percent, accounting for inflation (a $1,032 increase, in constant dollars) (see figure 7). Over this period, average tuition and fees at public 4-year institutions increased by 165 percent (a $3,540 increase), and by 133 percent (a $11,678 increase) at private 4-year institutions. In recent years, the rate of increase in average tuition and fees at community colleges has remained lower than it has at public 4-year institutions but has been higher than at private 4-year institutions. The average amount of increase in constant dollars, however, has been lower at community colleges than at either public or private 4-year institutions. Between 1999–2000 and 2006–07, average tuition and fees at community colleges increased by 25 percent (a $405 increase), compared with 41 percent for public 4-year institutions (a $1,646 increase) and 16 percent for private 4-year institutions (a $2,901 increase).


10 The total tuition and fees reported is the average retail price of community college; however, this cost is reduced for many students by financial aid. The levels and types of student financial aid vary by student and institution characteristics (Berkner and Wei 2006). (back to text)

Figures and Tables

Figure 7: Average annual undergraduate tuition and fees for full–time students in degree–granting institutions, by control and type of institution: Academic years 1976–77 through 2006–07

Table SA-6: Average annual undergraduate tuition and fees for full–time students in degree–granting institutions, by control and type of institution: Academic years 1976–77 through 2006–07

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education