Rare Good News About the Cost of College Tuition

The bad news is that the cost of college tuition and fees continued to rise this year. But there is a silver lining.

The bad news is that the cost of college tuition and fees continued to rise this year.

The relatively good news is that tuition rose at about the same rate in the 2015-2016 school year as it did the prior two years, according to the nonprofit College Board’s latest annual “Trends in College Pricing” report, released Wednesday.

For 2015-2016, the published tuition and fees at four-year colleges and universities averages:

  • $9,410 for in-state students at public institutions (a 2.9 percent increase, before adjusting for inflation, from the prior school year).
  • $23,893 for out-of-state students at public institutions (3.4 percent increase).
  • $32,405 for students at private nonprofit institutions (3.6 percent increase).

One of the report’s co-authors, Sandy Baum, is a senior fellow at the nonprofit Urban Institute and a graduate-school professor of higher education administration at George Washington University.

She states in a news release issued by the College Board that dramatic increases in published tuition and fees over time, as well as increases in net tuition and fees in recent years, resulted from a combination of published prices continuing to rise and student aid levels not keeping up.

In the news release, Baum says.

“The postrecession trends we documented last year have continued, with price increases that are moderate by historical standards and with continuing declines in student borrowing.”

The College Board’s latest annual “Trends in Student Aid” report, also released Wednesday, shows that while aid has not increased at the same rate as tuition, borrowing per student declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2015-2016.

The average federal loan per undergraduate student and the total loan volume both decreased 6 percent this year.

If you’re affected by rising college costs, check out “5 Ways to Dramatically Reduce the Cost of College.”

If you’re affected by student-loan debt, visit the Money Talks News Solutions Center, where you can get help with student-loan debt and other financial issues.

What’s your take on the cost of college today? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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