Skip Navigation
Indicators
Questions? Contact

Postsecondary Institution Revenues
(Last Updated: May 2016)

Between 2008–09 and 2013–14, revenues from tuition and fees per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student increased by 17 percent at public institutions (from $5,681 to $6,639, in constant 2014–15 dollars) and by 6 percent at private nonprofit institutions (from $19,206 to $20,293). At private for-profit institutions, revenues from tuition and fees per FTE student were 34 percent higher in 2013–14 than in 2008–09 ($19,480 vs. $14,515).

In academic year 2013–14, total revenues at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States were $605 billion (in current dollars). Total revenues were $353 billion at public institutions, $229 billion at private nonprofit institutions, and $23 billion at private for-profit institutions.


Figure 1. Percentage distribution of total revenues at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by institutional control and source of funds: 2013–14

Figure 1. Percentage distribution of total revenues at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by institutional control and source of funds: 2013–14


# Rounds to zero.
NOTE: Percentages are based on current dollars. Government grants, contracts, and appropriations include revenues from federal, state, and local governments. Private grants and contracts are included in the local government revenue category at public institutions. All other revenue includes gifts, capital or private grants and contracts, auxiliary enterprises, hospital revenue, sales and services of educational activities, and other revenue. Revenue data are not directly comparable across institutional control categories because Pell Grants are included in the federal grant revenues at public institutions but tend to be included in tuition and fees and auxiliary enterprise revenues at private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2015, Finance component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, tables 333.10, 333.40, and 333.55.


The primary sources of revenue for all institutions were tuition and fees, investments and government grants, contracts and appropriations, and other unspecified sources. There were notable differences in the percentages from these revenue sources for the different types of institutions. At public institutions the largest percentage of total revenues in 2013–14, at 42 percent, was from government sources (which include federal, state, and local government1 grants, contracts, and appropriations). At private nonprofit institutions and private for-profit institutions, student tuition and fees constituted the largest percentage of total revenues (30 and 90 percent, respectively). It is important to note that Pell Grants are included in the federal grant revenues at public institutions but tend to be included in tuition and fees and auxiliary enterprise revenues at private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions. Thus, some categories of revenue data are not directly comparable across public, nonprofit, and for-profit institutions.

Investment returns, or investment income, varied by institutional control. Revenues from these investments accounted for 6 percent of total revenues at public institutions, 25 percent of total revenues at private nonprofit institutions, and less than one-half of 1 percent of total revenues at private for-profit institutions.


Figure 2. Revenues from tuition and fees per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student for degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by institutional control: 2008–09 and 2013–14

Figure 2. Revenues from tuition and fees per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student for degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by institutional control: 2008–09 and 2013–14


NOTE: Full-time-equivalent (FTE) student includes full-time students plus the full-time equivalent of part-time students. Revenues per FTE student are reported in constant 2014–15 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjusted to a school-year basis. Revenue data are not directly comparable across institutional control categories because Pell Grants are included in the federal grant revenues at public institutions but tend to be included in tuition and fees and auxiliary enterprise revenues at private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions. Tuition and fee revenues at public institutions are after deducting discounts and allowances; at private nonprofit institutions and private for-profit institutions, tuition and fee revenues are net of allowances. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2010 and Spring 2015, Finance component; and Spring 2009 and 2014 Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, tables 333.10, 333.40, and 333.55.


Between 2008–09 and 2013–14, the percentage change in revenues from tuition and fees per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student varied by institutional control. Revenues per FTE student are reported in constant 2014–15 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). During this period, revenues from tuition and fees per FTE student increased by 17 percent at public institutions (from $5,681 to $6,639) and by 6 percent at private nonprofit institutions (from $19,206 to $20,293). At private for-profit institutions, revenues from tuition and fees were 34 percent higher in 2013–14 ($19,480) than in 2008–09 ($14,515).


Figure 3. Revenues from government grants, contracts, and appropriations per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student for degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by source of funds and institutional control: 2008–09 and 2013–14

Figure 3. Revenues from government grants, contracts, and appropriations per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student for degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by source of funds and institutional control: 2008–09 and 2013–14


NOTE: Full-time-equivalent (FTE) student includes full-time students plus the full-time equivalent of part-time students. Revenues per FTE student are reported in constant 2014–15 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjusted to a school-year basis. Private grants and contracts are included in the local government revenue category at public institutions. Revenue data are not comparable across institutional control categories because Pell Grants are included in the federal grant revenues at public institutions but tend to be included in tuition and fees and auxiliary enterprise revenues at private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2010 and Spring 2015, Finance component; and Spring 2009 and 2014 Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, tables 333.10, 333.40, and 333.55.


Total revenues per FTE student from government sources at public institutions decreased by 7 percent from 2008–09 to 2013–14 (from $14,909 to $13,913), by 8 percent at private nonprofit institutions (from $8,376 to $7,685), and by 27 percent at private for-profit institutions (from $1,331 to $970). The percentage change between 2008–09 and 2013–14 in state and local government revenues per FTE student also varied by institutional control. During this period, revenues per FTE student from state and local sources were 13 percent lower at public institutions ($10,433 vs. $9,081), 31 percent lower at private nonprofit institutions ($855 vs. $593), and 34 percent lower at private for-profit institutions ($113 vs. $74).

Revenues from federal sources showed varying patterns of change between 2008–09 and 2013–14 across degree-granting postsecondary institutions. At public institutions, federal revenues per FTE student were 8 percent higher in 2013–14 than in 2008–09 ($4,832 vs. $4,476). At private nonprofit institutions, federal revenues per FTE student was 6 percent lower in 2013–14 ($7,093) than in 2008–09 ($7,521). At private for-profit institutions, revenues per FTE student decreased by 27 percent (from $1,219 to $896).


1 Private grants and contracts are included in local government revenues at public institutions.


Glossary Terms

Data Source

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)