NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tuition Increases Slow, But Still Exceed Inflation

October 5, 1999

The cost of a college education increased this year, but the hike was the smallest in four years, according to the College Board. But experts doubt that annual increases will ever trail off to match the current low levels of inflation.

Studies show that college tuition and fees increased, on average, by 3 percent to 5 percent this year -- compared to a 2.3 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index over the 12 months ending in August.

  • Undergraduates at four-year public universities are paying an average of $3,356 this year for tuition and fees -- 3.4 percent more than last year.
  • At four-year private universities, the average is $15,380 -- for an increase of 4.6 percent.
  • Two-year public colleges are charging an average of $1,627 this year -- representing a hike of 4.7 percent.
  • Students who live on campus are paying about 4 percent more for room and board this year, according to College Board figures.

Tuition increases have averaged 5 percent for each of the past several years.

By comparison, the cost of health care increased 3.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Source: Pamela Bradley (Gannett News Service), "Educators Say College Tuition Hikes Have Slowed," USA Today, October 5, 1999.


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