This year’s average tuition increase at four-year public colleges, 4.8%, is smaller than it has been in more than a decade, but it is more than triple the inflation rate of 1.4%. When the increases in other fees and expenses are factored in to the cost of college, the amount full-time students pay significantly increased for the second year in a row, according to a new report from the College Board.
The report notes that approximately two-thirds of full time students pay for college with grants and the remaining one-third receive federal tax credits and deductions to offset the cost. Once the grants and tax breaks are taken into consideration, the net amount students paid at public, four-year institutions has consistently increased $960 every year since the 2009-2010 academic year, reported the study.
This year’s net tuition at private, four-year, not-for-profit schools increased by $780; which followed three consecutive years of declines in net tuition. However, increases in institutional and federal financial aid have dropped the net tuition price at private, not-for-profit schools to less than the inflation adjusted cost from 2007.
Additionally, the net tuition increase at private, not-for-profit schools is also substantially lower than the average increase in the schools’ published tuition, which went up by 4.2%, or $1,173. Published tuition at public universities increased by 4.8%, or $883, this year. The increase is appreciably less than the 5.2% average of the last five years or the 8.4% of the 2011-2012 academic year, much of which was fueled by the California budget crisis.
The largest increase in published tuition was at public two-year colleges, which rose 5.8%, or $172. Net tuition decreased by $1,220 at public, two-year colleges.