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March Foundation



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March Foundation
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2016-17 College Board Tuition Cost Chart

Average Published Charges (Enrollment-Weighted) for Full-Time Undergraduates by Sector, 2016-17

Notes & Sources

Notes: Prices in Table 1A are not adjusted for inflation. Prices reported for 2015-16 have been revised and may differ from those reported in Trends in College Pricing 2015. Public two-year room and board charges are based on commuter housing and food costs. Tuition and fee figures for the for-profit sector should be interpreted with caution because of the relatively small sample.

Sources: College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges.

Enrollment-weighted tuition and fees weight the price charged by each institution by the number of full-time undergraduate students enrolled in fall 2014. Public four-year in-state charges are weighted by total fall 2014 full-time undergraduate enrollment in each institution, including both in-state students and out-of-state students. Out-of-state tuition and fees are computed by adding the average in-state price to the out-of-state premium weighted by the number of full-time out-of-state undergraduate students enrolled at each institution. Room and board charges are weighted by the number of undergraduate students residing on campus for four-year institutions and by the number of commuter students for public two-year institutions.

Key Points

  • Because average published tuition and fees rose more for out-of-state students than for in-state students in 2016-17, the out-of-state premium increased by 4.3%, from $14,650 to $15,280.
  • In 2016-17, the average published tuition and fee price of $33,480 at private nonprofit four-year institutions is $8,550 (34%) higher than the average public four-year out-of-state price. Average published charges, including tuition and fees and room and board, are $10,000 (28%) higher in the private sector.
  • In 2016-17, the average published tuition and fee price of $3,520 at public two-year colleges is 36% of the average in-state public four-year price.
  • The estimated $16,000 average tuition and fee price for full-time students enrolled in for-profit institutions in 2016-17 is about 4.5 times as high as the average price at public two-year colleges and 1.7 times as high as the average in-state price at public four-year institutions.

Also Important

  • More than 70% of undergraduate students enrolled full time in 2011-12 received grants that reduced the actual price of college (NCES, NPSAS, 2012). In addition, many states and institutions grant tuition waivers to groups such as veterans, teachers, or dependents of employees. See Figures 9, 10, and 11 for estimates of net prices and Trends in Student Aid 2016 for details about student aid.
  • About one out of six full-time public two-year students are in California, which has the lowest tuition and fee price in that sector. Excluding California raises the average published price of public two-year colleges from $3,520 to $3,910.
  • The total price of a college education depends on how long a student is enrolled before completing a degree. Many students spend more than four years earning a bachelor’s degree. Average time to degree is longer in public than in private nonprofit institutions.
  • In fall 2014, 62% of students at public two-year colleges were enrolled part time, as were 19% of undergraduates at public four-year, 17% at private nonprofit four-year, and 29% at for-profit institutions. (NCES, IPEDS fall enrollment data, 2014; calculations by the authors).