College Board Releases 2020-2021 College Cost Data

College Board’s 2020 Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid report released today shows historically low increases in average published tuition and fees amid the covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, undergraduate borrowing declined for the ninth consecutive year and total grant aid continued to see slow growth. Average net prices have been stable in the public sectors since 2011-12. Because many colleges shifted to an online model this year due to Covid-19, the College Board used room and board figures from last year and adjusted them for inflation. Along with stable pricing many colleges and universities are becoming “test optional” waiving the requirement to submit an SAT or ACT score with applications. Here are the college cost highlights:

4-Year Public Colleges (in-state students):

  • Tuition and fees increased 1.1% to $10,560
  • Room and board increased 1% to $11,620
  • Total cost of attendance: $26,820

4-Year Public Colleges (out-of-state students):

  • Tuition and fees increased 0.9% to $27,020
  • Room and board increased 1% to $11,620 (same as in-state)
  • Total cost of attendance: $43,280

4-Year Private Colleges:

  • Tuition and fees increased 2.1% to $37,650
  • Room and board increased 1% to $13,120
  • Total cost of attendance: $54,880

“Total cost of attendance” includes direct billed costs for tuition, fees, room, and board, plus a given sum for books, transportation, and personal expenses, which will vary by student.

Average net prices are calculated as the differences between published prices and average grant aid received by first-time full-time students, including those who did not receive grant aid. In 2018-19, 71% of public two-year, 74% of public four-year, and 87% of private nonprofit four-year first-time full-time undergraduate students received federal, state, or institutional grant aid.

  • Between 2006-07 and 2020-21, the average net tuition and fee price paid by first-time full-time in-state students enrolled in public four-year institutions was lowest in 2009-10 ($2,830 in 2020 dollars); it was an estimated $3,230 in 2020-21.
  • Between 2006-07 and 2020-21, the average net tuition and fee price paid by first-time full-time undergraduates enrolled in private nonprofit four-year institutions was lowest in 2009-10 ($14,710 in 2020 dollars); it was an estimated $15,990 in 2020-21.

As colleges continue to adjust to the challenges posed by covid-19 and students experience changes in family finances, meeting financial need will likely be more challenging.

If you are looking for advice or college planning contact us here at PrairieView Wealth Partners. We are college planning specialists.

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