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Business and Policy Areas
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Tuition Increases Slow According to College Board

October 19, 2004

The large annual tuition increases of recent years slowed in 2004, while financial aid awards continued to rise, according to The College Board’s annual survey. Average published tuition and fees in 2004 increased by 10.5 percent at four-year public colleges and universities, 8.7 percent at two-year public institutions, and 6 percent at four-year independent institutions. Student financial aid increased by 11 percent over 2003, to a record $122 billion awarded in 2004. All types of institutions continue to face financial pressures such as tight state budgets, increased health care costs for employees, and low endowment return rates from the past few years.

Financial assistance from all sources has increased significantly both this year and over the past 10 years. Within the past decade, institutional grant aid has risen 84 percent, with other sources showing similar increases. This year, the federal government increased its student assistance contribution 10 percent, but 70 percent of the aid was in the form of loans. Pell grant funding continues to lag behind inflation and the increase in eligible grant recipients. The average Pell grant actually fell by 1 percent in constant dollars because of a 7 percent increase in the number of Pell recipients from the previous year.

The full reports, Trends in College Pricing 2004 and Trends in Student Aid 2004 , can be found on The College Board's web site.