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Indicators

Postsecondary Institution Revenues
(Last Updated: May 2019)

Revenues from tuition and fees per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student were 25 percent higher in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 at public institutions ($7,700 vs. $6,100 in constant 2017–18 dollars) and 7 percent higher at private nonprofit institutions ($21,900 vs. $20,500). At private for-profit institutions, revenues from tuition and fees per FTE student were 4 percent lower in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 ($16,500 vs. $17,100).

In 2016–17, total revenues at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States were $649 billion (in current dollars). Total revenues were $391 billion at public institutions, $243 billion at private nonprofit institutions, and $16 billion at private for-profit institutions.


Figure 1. Percentage distribution of total revenues at degree-granting postsecondary institutions for each control of institution, by source of funds: 2016–17

Figure 1. Percentage distribution of total revenues at degree-granting postsecondary institutions for each control of institution, by source of funds: 2016–17


# Rounds to zero.
NOTE: 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, hospital revenue, sales and services of educational activities, and other revenue. Revenue data are not directly comparable across institutions by 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. Revenues from tuition and fees are net of discounts and allowances. 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. Although rounded numbers are displayed, figures are based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2018, Finance component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2018, tables 333.10, 333.40, and 333.55.


The primary1 sources of revenue for degree-granting institutions in 2016–17 were tuition and fees; investments;2 and government grants, contracts, and appropriations. The percentages from these revenue sources varied by control of institution (i.e., public, private nonprofit, and private for-profit). Public institutions received the largest proportion of their revenues from government sources (including federal, state, and local government3 grants, contracts, and appropriations), which constituted 41 percent of their overall revenues. Student tuition and fees constituted the largest primary source of revenue at private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions (30 percent and 91 percent, respectively).

It is important to note that data may not be comparable across institutions by control categories (i.e., public, private nonprofit, and private for-profit) because of differences in accounting standards that pertain to the type of institution. For example, Pell Grants are included in 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, private nonprofit, and private for-profit institutions.


Figure 2. Revenues from tuition and fees per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student for degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control of institution: 2010–11 and 2016–17

Figure 2. Revenues from tuition and fees per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student for degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control of institution: 2010–11 and 2016–17


NOTE: Full-time-equivalent (FTE) student enrollment includes full-time students plus the full-time equivalent of part-time students. Revenues per FTE student in this indicator are adjusted for inflation using constant 2017–18 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. Revenue data are not directly comparable across institutions by 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. Revenues from tuition and fees are net of discounts and 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. Although rounded numbers are displayed, figures are based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2012 and Spring 2018, Finance component; and Spring 2011 and 2017, Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2018, tables 333.10, 333.40, and 333.55.


At degree-granting postsecondary institutions between 2010–11 and 2016–17, the percentage change in revenues from tuition and fees per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student4 varied by control of institution. Tuition and fee revenues per FTE student were 25 percent higher in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 at public institutions ($7,700 vs. $6,100) and 7 percent higher at private nonprofit institutions ($21,900 vs. $20,500). At private for-profit institutions, revenues from tuition and fees remained the primary revenue source; however, revenues from tuition and fees per FTE student were 4 percent lower in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 ($16,500 vs. $17,100).


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 control of institution: 2010–11 and 2016–17

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 control of institution: 2010–11 and 2016–17


NOTE: Full-time-equivalent (FTE) student enrollment includes full-time students plus the full-time equivalent of part-time students. Revenues per FTE student in this indicator are adjusted for inflation using constant 2017–18 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 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 directly comparable across institutions by 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. Although rounded numbers are displayed, figures are based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2012 and Spring 2018, Finance component; and Spring 2011 and 2017, Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2018, tables 333.10, 333.40, and 333.55.


Revenues per FTE student from government sources were 46 percent lower in 2016–17 ($640) than in 2010–11 ($1,200) at private for-profit institutions and 11 percent lower in 2016–17 ($8,100) than in 2010–11 ($9,000) at private nonprofit institutions. Revenues per FTE student from these sources were similar in 2016–17 ($15,400) and in 2010–11 ($15,300) at public institutions.

Revenues per FTE student from federal government sources were lower in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 across all control categories. The largest percentage change was at private for-profit institutions, where federal revenues per FTE student were 45 percent lower in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 ($590 vs. $1,100). Federal revenues per FTE student were 15 percent lower in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 ($4,800 vs. $5,700) at public institutions and 10 percent lower in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 ($7,500 vs. $8,300) at private nonprofit institutions.

The percentage change in state and local government revenues per FTE student varied by control of institution. Revenues per FTE student from these sources were 10 percent higher in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 ($10,500 vs. $9,600) at public institutions but 16 percent lower in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 ($620 vs. $740) at private nonprofit institutions. At private for-profit institutions, revenues per FTE student from state and local government sources were 57 percent lower in 2016–17 than in 2010–11 ($50 vs. $110) but constituted only a small percentage (less than one-half of 1 percent) of total revenues in both years.


1 For this indicator, revenues from all other sources are grouped into a broad “other” category. This category includes gifts, capital or private grants and contracts, hospital revenue, sales and services of educational activities, and other revenue.
2 Investments/investment returns are aggregate amounts of dividends, interest, royalties, rent, and gains or losses from both fair value adjustments and trades of institutions’ investments and/or endowments.
3 Private grants and contracts are included in local government revenues at public institutions.
4 Revenues per FTE student in this indicator are adjusted for inflation using constant 2017–18 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis.


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