College Board: Trends in College Pricing

College Board: Trends in College Pricing
  • Opening Intro -

    The College Board has released its latest report, Education Pays, outlining the importance of pursuing a college education.

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As before, the board has made a case for the investment payoff of obtaining a college degree with “big dividends” realized by graduates throughout their lives.

Average Sticker Price

In a related report, the College Board has also tracked the recent trends in college pricing, finding that in-state tuition at public colleges and universities rose by 2.9 percent for the 2013-14 academic year. That increase was the smallest the College Board has seen in over 30 years, a welcome trend for families.

The average published or sticker price for in-state students at public four-year institutions was $8,893. Add in another $9,498 when room and board are included. For out-of-state students attending public universities tuition and fees averaged $22,203. Room and board pushes that cost up to $31,701 compared with the $18,391 net cost for in-state students, a difference of $13,310 per year.

At private colleges and universities, tuition and fees rose faster, increasing by 3.8 percent to $30,904. Add in room and board and that amount comes in at $40,917.

Best Value Schools

The best value in education by far remains two-year community and technical colleges where costs rose by 3.5 percent this academic year. At $3,264, such schools remain the bargain in higher education. For-profit institutions on the other hand cost students an average of $15,310 per year, up just 0.5 percent last year.

The College Board noted that approximately two-thirds of students pay for their college education with the help of financial aid. Many receive grants, some obtain college scholarships, while federal tax credits and deductions can help cover some expenses.

College sticker price changes varied from institution to institution. The College Board found that 12 percent of college students attend schools that froze tuition and fee increases over the previous academic year. Another 41 percent were affected by increases that were below 3 percent, with just one percent of students seeing their costs rise by at least 9 percent.

Higher Education Cost Variations

Across the country what students pay for their public education can vary widely as well. Four-year students in New Hampshire paid $14,665 for tuition and fees while students enrolled at two-year schools averaged $6,736. Similarly, students in Vermont paid $13,958 for a four-year public education and $7,090 for their two-year education.

Deals in higher education were found in Wyoming where students paid $4,404 per year and in Alaska where those costs averaged $5,885 per year. Among two-year colleges, California at $1,424 and New Mexico at $1,696 had the lowest costs.

All the costs shared so far were for the published price. What students actually paid for their college education sometimes varied dramatically. For 2013-14, students at public two-year colleges received an average $4,810 in grant aid and tax benefits, what covered their tuition, fees and related expenses.

Getting Additional Assistance

Statistics aside, college students and their families can seek relief by filling out a Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) and reviewing their Student Aid Report (SAR) to learn what aid they have coming to them. Applying for college scholarships can also reduce that burden.

See AlsoHow to Apply to College for Free

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