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Three Decades of College Cost Increases

Over the past 30 years, the cost of college tuition, fees, room, and board has increased 85% at private colleges and 111% at public colleges above and beyond the rate of general inflation. After significant cost increases during the 1990s and 2000s, colleges have made a concerted effort over the last decade to rein in cost hikes. This is especially true for public colleges, as states have generally allocated more money to their higher-education budgets after years of cuts.

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Source: Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021, College Board

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