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NCES Releases First Look Cost of Attendance, Degrees Awarded, and 12-Month Enrollment Data from IPEDS

January 18, 2018

Both public and private institutions reported increases in average tuition and required fee costs for first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduates between 2014-15 and 2016-17 according to newly released First Look data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The report also includes data on the number of degrees and other awards conferred in 2015-16 as well as 12-month enrollment data for the same award year.

Between 2014-15 and 2016-17, private, nonprofit four-year institutions reported the highest increase in average tuition and required fees, from $25,851 to $27,260 (5.5 percent). The next highest was that of public two-year institutions' average in-state tuition and required fees, which rose from $3,677 to $4,087 (5.4 percent). Public four-year institutions' in-state tuition and required fees increased from an average of $7,819 to $8,173 (4.5 percent); out-of-state average tuition and required fees increased from $17,638 to $18,415 (4.4 percent). Private for-profit four-year institutions' average tuition and required fees increased 1.4 percent, from $15,788 to $16,011. Average on-campus room and board costs also increased across all sectors over the three academic years examined.

Regarding completions, over 4.6 million degrees/awards were conferred in 2015-16; of these, 3.3 million degrees/awards were conferred at four-year institutions. Bachelor's degrees made up the majority of awards at four-year institutions (57.1 percent). Master's degrees were the second highest award (23.4 percent). Public four-year institutions awarded bachelor's degrees to over 1.2 million students, dwarfing both the private, nonprofit four-year sector (556,146 students) and private for-profit four-year sector (119,486 students).

In addition, the report notes that in 2015-16, almost 27 million students were enrolled at institutions participating in federal Title IV financial aid programs. The majority (23.1 million) were undergraduates; women outnumbered men on both the undergraduate (just over 13 million) and graduate (over 2.2 million) levels.
The report is available here.


Lesley McBain
Assistant Director, Research and Policy Analysis