Key Facts and FiguresBack to table of contents
There are big differences between the “sticker price” of college and what most students actually pay: the average sticker price for one year at a private nonprofit four-year college was almost $44,000 in 2015-2016; but the average net price that students paid (including the amount they borrowed for future payment) was $26,400.
About one-third of all full-time students pay the full sticker price, while the remaining two-thirds pay a reduced net price.
More students are taking out more money for more
Students who do not graduate and who take out the smallest loan amounts have the highest default rates, whereas students who graduate from private nonprofit four-year colleges have the lowest default rates.
Net cost has risen fastest at public four-year institutions and has decreased at public two-year colleges:
Decreases in per-student state funding play a major role in explaining increases in tuition and fees at public four-year institutions: adjusted for inflation, state funding per full-time student in 2014 was nearly 30 percent lower than in 2000.