Skip Navigation

Tuition costs of colleges and universities

Question:
What are the trends in the cost of college education?

Response:

For the 2018–19 academic year, annual current dollar prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board were estimated to be $18,383 at public institutions, $47,419 at private nonprofit institutions, and $27,040 at private for-profit institutions. Between 2008–09 and 2018–19, prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at public institutions rose 28 percent, and prices at private nonprofit institutions rose 19 percent, after adjustment for inflation. The price for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at private for-profit institutions were 6 percent lower in 2018–19 than in 2008–09, after adjustment for inflation.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Digest of Education Statistics, 2019 (NCES 2021-009), Chapter 3.

Average total tuition, fees, room and board rates charged for full-time undergraduate students in degree-granting institutions, by level and control of institution: Selected years, 1985–86 to 2018–19
Year and control
of institution
Constant 2018–19 dollars1 Current dollars
All
institutions
4-year
institutions
2-year
institutions
All
institutions
4-year
institutions
2-year
institutions
All institutions
1985–862 $11,369 $12,811 $7,836 $4,885 $5,504 $3,367
1995–96 14,426 16,934 7,745 8,800 10,330 4,725
2000–01 15,651 18,692 7,907 10,820 12,922 5,466
2001–02 16,175 19,386 8,127 11,380 13,639 5,718
2002–03 16,708 20,081 8,695 12,014 14,439 6,252
2003–04 17,629 21,103 9,125 12,953 15,505 6,705
2004–05 18,224 21,813 9,374 13,793 16,510 7,095
2005–06 18,625 22,211 9,209 14,634 17,451 7,236
2006–07 19,212 22,918 9,264 15,486 18,473 7,467
2007–08 19,413 23,166 9,137 16,227 19,364 7,637
2008–09 20,111 24,024 9,697 17,045 20,361 8,219
2009–10 20,625 24,687 9,981 17,650 21,126 8,541
2010–11 21,165 25,287 10,159 18,475 22,074 8,868
2011–12 21,593 25,610 10,402 19,401 23,011 9,347
2012–13 22,150 26,132 10,480 20,233 23,871 9,573
2013–14 22,630 26,625 10,662 20,995 24,701 9,891
2014–15 23,252 27,190 10,864 21,729 25,409 10,153
2015–16 23,851 27,777 11,062 22,439 26,132 10,407
2016–17 24,101 27,755 11,061 23,091 26,592 10,597
2017–18 24,327 27,923 10,925 23,833 27,357 10,704
2018–19 24,623 28,123 11,389 24,623 28,123 11,389
Public institutions
1985–862 $8,312 $8,981 $6,938 $3,571 $3,859 $2,981
1995–96 10,255 11,498 6,912 6,256 7,014 4,217
2000–01 10,973 12,517 7,000 7,586 8,653 4,839
2001–02 11,401 13,071 7,302 8,022 9,196 5,137
2002–03 11,824 13,612 7,790 8,502 9,787 5,601
2003–04 12,585 14,527 8,182 9,247 10,674 6,012
2004–05 13,033 15,096 8,423 9,864 11,426 6,375
2005–06 13,306 15,411 8,262 10,454 12,108 6,492
2006–07 13,711 15,880 8,456 11,051 12,799 6,815
2007–08 13,842 16,066 8,347 11,570 13,429 6,977
2008–09 14,405 16,768 8,906 12,209 14,212 7,549
2009–10 14,980 17,570 9,007 12,819 15,036 7,708
2010–11 15,540 18,237 9,255 13,566 15,919 8,079
2011–12 15,980 18,683 9,590 14,359 16,787 8,617
2012–13 16,444 19,130 9,773 15,021 17,475 8,927
2013–14 16,846 19,509 10,006 15,628 18,100 9,283
2014–15 17,323 19,938 10,257 16,188 18,632 9,585
2015–16 17,821 20,413 10,538 16,766 19,204 9,914
2016–17 17,992 20,341 10,531 17,238 19,488 10,090
2017–18 18,163 20,464 10,493 17,794 20,049 10,280
2018–19 18,383 20,598 10,950 18,383 20,598 10,950
Private nonprofit and for-profit institutions
1985–862 $20,678 $21,478 $15,156 $8,885 $9,228 $6,512
1995–96 28,209 28,870 18,956 17,208 17,612 11,563
2000–01 30,916 31,614 21,563 21,373 21,856 14,907
2001–02 31,857 32,542 22,493 22,413 22,896 15,825
2002–03 32,461 33,082 24,690 23,340 23,787 17,753
2003–04 33,513 34,120 26,619 24,624 25,070 19,558
2004–05 34,110 34,695 26,817 25,817 26,260 20,297
2005–06 34,247 34,788 27,242 26,908 27,333 21,404
2006–07 35,285 35,879 25,166 28,440 28,919 20,284
2007–08 35,613 36,160 25,944 29,768 30,226 21,686
2008–09 36,298 36,850 26,810 30,764 31,232 22,723
2009–10 36,624 37,215 28,587 31,341 31,847 24,463
2010–11 36,515 37,250 26,464 31,875 32,517 23,101
2011–12 36,792 37,481 26,271 33,058 33,677 23,605
2012–13 37,750 38,394 25,567 34,483 35,071 23,355
2013–14 38,799 39,450 25,730 35,995 36,599 23,870
2014–15 40,045 40,651 26,032 37,422 37,988 24,327
2015–16 41,472 42,021 25,909 39,016 39,534 24,375
2016–17 42,712 43,279 25,976 40,922 41,465 24,888
2017–18 43,557 44,025 26,126 42,673 43,131 25,596
2018–19 44,306 44,662 28,627 44,306 44,662 28,627

1Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index, prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to an academic-year basis.
2Room and board data are estimated.

NOTE: Data are for the entire academic year and are average charges for full-time students. Tuition and fees were weighted by the number of full-time-equivalent undergraduates, but were not adjusted to reflect student residency. For public institutions, in-state tuition and required fees are used. Room and board are based on full-time students. Data through 1995–96 are for institutions of higher education, while later data are for degree-granting institutions. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. The degree-granting classification is very similar to the earlier higher education classification, but it includes more 2-year colleges and excludes a few higher education institutions that did not grant degrees. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Digest of Education Statistics, 2019 (NCES 2021-009), Table 330.10.

Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)

Other Resources:  (Listed by Release Date)