Colleges’ net prices drop as inflation outpaces average published tuition
October 27, 2021
Sticker prices for college tuition and fees again rose at historically low rates in the 2021-22 academic year, with increases averaging 2.1% or less across different sectors tracked in a pair of annual reports from the College Board.
Before taking inflation into account, average published tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates at public four-year colleges rose by 1.6% to $10,740. For in-district students at public two-year colleges, they increased by 1.3% to $3,800. Average tuition and fees for out-of-state students at public four-year colleges rose by 1.5% to $27,560, and for students at private nonprofit four-year colleges, they climbed by 2.1% to $38,070.
But after accounting for inflation, average published tuition and fees fell across all sectors. Average net prices — the amount students actually pay after factoring in grants and scholarships — also slipped slightly.
The new data on college pricing and student aid adds perspective to how shifts in the U.S. higher education landscape are unfolding.
“This year’s data underscore the significant impact COVID-19 has had on higher education,” Jessica Howell, College Board’s vice president for research, said in a statement.