Facts of the Month

Trends in College Costs and Financial Aid

The College Board's annual reports on college costs and financial aid show some interesting trends, positively and negatively. For example, after adjusting for the 5.6% increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the average tuition and fees declined 0.8% at two-year colleges and increased by 0.7% for in-state public university students and 0.3% at private four-year colleges. However, at the same time that CPI was up 5.6%, incomes for the poorest 20% of families only increased 3%. The top 5% of the wealthiest families grew by 86% and the incomes of the middle 20% of families increased by 22%.

Publication Date: November 2008