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College Board releases annual reports tuition and financial aid

Credit: Kelsey Scott/Operations Manager Credit: Kelsey Scott/Operations Manager

The College Board recently released its annual Trends in College Pricing report, which shows the increase in tuition, fees, and room and board at U.S. institutions of higher education. The report examines how the prices of both public and private institutions in the U.S. have fluctuated in recent years.

The Trends in College Pricing report measures college tuition by several different metrics, including published price — the price a college or university gives — and net price, which, according to the College Board, is the “published price minus the grant aid that students receive.”

The College Board notes in the online version of the Trends in College Pricing report that “net prices are frequently much lower than published prices and represent the amount students actually pay.”

According to the report, the average cost of out-of-state and in-state tuition, fees, room, and board for public, four-year colleges went up 3.2 percent within the past year. For private, nonprofit, four-year institutions — which include Carnegie Mellon — prices rose 3.7 percent.

While the national average net price for private, nonprofit, four-year colleges increased in line with total sticker price, financial aid — as measured by both federal and private loans and grants — has decreased in the past year.

According to the College Board’s 2013 Trends in Student Aid report, released in conjunction with the Trends in College Pricing report, total national average aid in the 2011–12 academic year was $15,696; in 2012–13 it decreased $163 to $15,533. These figures include national averages for several forms of aid, ranging from private student loans to subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans and education tax benefits.

This year’s percent increase in college tuition is the lowest it has been since the mid 1970s. College tuition and fees, however, are still rising faster than U.S. inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a tool used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to measure inflation; according to the Bureau’s website, the CPI program “produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.”

The CPI increased from 230.79 in May 2012 to 232.945 in August 2013, an increase of about 1 percent. This is significantly lower than the increase in college price reported by the College Board.

At the beginning of every spring semester, Carnegie Mellon announces the tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year.

In February, a campus-wide email sent out by Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy announced that there would be a 4 percent increase in new undergraduate tuition rates and a 3 percent increase for current students for the 2013–14 year.

Over the past 10 years, the university has consistently increased tuition by between $1,000 and $3,000 each year. For an incoming, full-time, resident student in 2006, tuition was $41,608. Full-time resident students entering in 2013 had a tuition of $46,670. This figure does not include room and board and other fees.

This figure is in line with many of Carnegie Mellon’s peer institutions. Washington University in St. Louis, for example, charges $42,500 for tuition alone. According to an article in Wash. U.’s Newsroom, this is a 3.8 percent increase from the previous year.

At New York University, tuition for an undergraduate student entering the College of Arts and Sciences in 2013 was $42,472.

At the University of Rochester, according to their website, tuition increased 3.9 percent from $42,890 to $44,580 for the current academic year.

Regarding financial aid, the university reports that it gave out 5,393 scholarships for the 2012–13 year, with an average award sum of $17,911.20 per person.