College Board Releases Annual Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid Reports

October 19, 2018

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The College Board this week released its annual Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid reports for 2018. According to the pricing report, average published fees have increased, with the largest increases seen in the private nonprofit sector, and nearly three-quarters of full-time students receive grant aid to help them pay for college.

Among the highlights from the report:

  • Average published in-state tuition and fees in the public four-year sector increased by $250 (2.5 percent), from $9,980 in 2017-18 to $10,230 in 2018-19. Average total tuition and fee and room and board charges in 2018-19 are $21,370.
  • Average published in-district tuition and fees at public two-year colleges increased by $100 (2.8 percent) from $3,560 in 2017-18 to $3660 in 2018-19.
  • In the public two-year and private nonprofit four-year sectors, published prices are more than twice as high in 2018-19 as they were in 1988-89. The average in-state tuition and fee price in the public four-year sector is about three times as high in inflation-adjusted dollars as it was in 1988-89.
  • Overall, two-year colleges accounted for 43 percent of the public full-time equivalent undergraduate enrollment in 2016. In seven states, this share was 50 percent or more.
Statistics on student budgets
Figure 1, page 10 from College Board’s 2018 Trends in College Pricing report

To keep up with increasing costs, the student aid report revealed that many institutions are moving to further supplement their students’ financial aid packages. Between 2012-13 and 2017-18, institutional grant aid for undergraduate students increased by $10.4 billion in 2017 dollars (27 percent), rising from 37 percent to 44 percent of total grants.

Other key findings include:

  • In 2017-18, undergraduate students received an average of $14,790 per FTE student in financial aid: $8,970 in grants, $4,510 in federal loans, $1,240 in education tax credits and deductions, and $70 in Federal Work-Study.
  • The number of Pell Grant recipients fell in 2017-18 for the sixth consecutive year.
  • The maximum Pell Grant covered 60 percent of average public four-year tuition and fees and 17 percent at private nonprofit four-year institutions in 2018-19.
  • As of March 2018, 52 percent of the outstanding federal education loan debt was held by the 14 percent of borrowers owing $60,000 or more; 56 percent of borrowers with outstanding debt owed less than $20,000.

To learn more about trends in college pricing and student aid, you can find the reports on the College Board website.

—Jinann Bitar

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