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Cost of college tuition has remained stable since September 2019

August 31, 2021

Back-to-school season is here! Whether your kids are off to childcare or nursery school, private elementary or high school, or college, paying for tuition, housing, textbooks, and other school-related expenses may pose a challenge to the family budget. From July 2011 to September 2019, consumer prices for college tuition and fees increased 32.0 percent. Since then, college tuition and fees have remained stable, while prices for all items have increased. Over the last 10 years, consumer prices for elementary and high school tuition and fees increased 41.8 percent.

Consumer price indexes for tuition and school-related items, not seasonally adjusted, July 2011–July 2021 (July 2011 = 100)
Month All
items
College tuition
and fees
Elementary and
high school
tuition and fees
Childcare and
nursery school
Technical and
business school
tuition and fees
Housing at school,
excluding board
College
textbooks

Jul 2011

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Aug 2011

100.3 103.2 101.1 100.5 101.3 102.0 101.1

Sep 2011

100.4 104.4 102.2 101.0 101.2 102.9 102.7

Oct 2011

100.2 104.3 102.2 101.8 101.4 103.1 102.9

Nov 2011

100.1 104.5 102.2 101.4 101.4 103.1 103.2

Dec 2011

99.9 104.5 102.2 101.4 101.5 103.1 102.9

Jan 2012

100.3 104.4 102.2 101.8 101.6 103.1 104.3

Feb 2012

100.8 104.3 102.3 101.9 102.3 103.2 104.5

Mar 2012

101.5 104.3 102.3 102.0 102.5 103.2 105.0

Apr 2012

101.8 104.2 102.3 102.1 102.6 103.3 105.3

May 2012

101.7 104.4 102.4 102.2 102.8 103.4 106.0

Jun 2012

101.6 104.4 102.7 102.1 103.2 103.5 106.0

Jul 2012

101.4 105.4 103.3 102.5 103.3 104.0 108.1

Aug 2012

102.0 107.5 104.7 102.8 103.9 106.1 109.6

Sep 2012

102.4 108.6 105.6 103.9 104.5 107.0 110.7

Oct 2012

102.4 108.8 105.7 104.0 104.6 107.3 110.9

Nov 2012

101.9 108.7 105.8 104.0 104.4 107.4 111.4

Dec 2012

101.6 108.7 105.8 104.1 104.4 107.4 111.1

Jan 2013

101.9 109.1 105.8 104.7 105.4 107.6 112.6

Feb 2013

102.8 109.1 105.8 104.7 105.4 107.6 112.7

Mar 2013

103.0 109.0 105.9 104.8 105.6 107.6 113.1

Apr 2013

102.9 109.0 105.8 104.9 105.8 107.7 113.2

May 2013

103.1 109.1 105.9 105.0 105.9 107.8 113.7

Jun 2013

103.4 109.2 106.3 104.8 105.8 107.9 113.9

Jul 2013

103.4 109.8 107.2 105.0 106.1 108.2 114.5

Aug 2013

103.5 111.9 108.8 105.3 106.8 109.7 114.1

Sep 2013

103.6 112.6 109.8 106.0 107.1 110.7 115.7

Oct 2013

103.4 112.8 109.9 106.2 107.3 110.9 116.9

Nov 2013

103.2 113.0 109.8 106.3 107.4 111.0 117.2

Dec 2013

103.2 112.9 109.8 106.4 107.5 111.0 117.4

Jan 2014

103.5 113.0 109.8 106.2 107.3 111.1 115.8

Feb 2014

103.9 113.3 109.8 106.3 107.2 111.2 116.6

Mar 2014

104.6 113.3 109.8 106.8 107.3 111.2 116.2

Apr 2014

104.9 113.4 109.8 106.9 107.5 111.3 117.2

May 2014

105.3 113.4 110.1 107.1 107.9 111.3 117.6

Jun 2014

105.5 113.7 110.6 107.1 108.0 111.3 117.3

Jul 2014

105.5 114.1 111.5 107.2 108.3 111.7 117.9

Aug 2014

105.3 115.7 112.9 107.8 108.9 112.9 120.4

Sep 2014

105.4 116.4 114.1 108.8 109.0 113.7 121.6

Oct 2014

105.1 116.8 114.1 108.8 109.4 114.0 122.5

Nov 2014

104.5 116.9 114.2 108.9 109.4 114.1 122.4

Dec 2014

103.9 116.8 114.2 108.7 109.5 114.1 123.3

Jan 2015

103.4 117.1 114.2 109.5 109.5 114.2 124.4

Feb 2015

103.9 117.1 114.2 109.5 109.5 114.4 124.0

Mar 2015

104.5 117.1 114.2 110.5 109.5 114.2 124.5

Apr 2015

104.7 117.2 114.2 111.3 109.2 114.2 124.7

May 2015

105.3 117.3 114.6 111.5 109.5 114.2 124.8

Jun 2015

105.6 117.6 115.0 111.7 109.7 114.3 123.8

Jul 2015

105.6 118.1 115.8 112.0 110.0 114.9 124.6

Aug 2015

105.5 119.5 117.0 112.4 110.3 115.8 127.0

Sep 2015

105.3 120.7 118.1 113.4 110.5 117.0 127.8

Oct 2015

105.3 120.9 118.3 113.4 110.6 117.4 128.8

Nov 2015

105.1 120.9 118.5 113.5 110.6 117.4 129.2

Dec 2015

104.7 120.9 118.4 113.2 110.8 117.5 129.9

Jan 2016

104.9 120.7 118.5 113.6 111.1 117.5 130.0

Feb 2016

105.0 120.8 118.5 113.8 111.1 117.6 129.0

Mar 2016

105.4 120.7 118.6 114.0 111.2 117.5 128.6

Apr 2016

105.9 120.8 118.7 114.1 111.3 117.5 130.6

May 2016

106.3 120.9 118.8 114.2 111.3 117.5 130.5

Jun 2016

106.7 121.1 118.9 114.4 111.4 117.8 132.3

Jul 2016

106.5 121.3 119.5 114.7 111.8 118.1 132.8

Aug 2016

106.6 122.3 120.8 115.5 112.2 119.4 135.0

Sep 2016

106.9 123.3 121.7 116.1 112.6 120.3 135.9

Oct 2016

107.0 123.6 122.4 116.5 112.6 120.5 136.4

Nov 2016

106.8 123.5 122.6 116.4 112.6 121.0 137.8

Dec 2016

106.9 123.8 122.6 116.4 112.6 121.0 137.8

Jan 2017

107.5 123.2 122.6 117.2 114.4 121.1 136.0

Feb 2017

107.8 123.2 122.6 117.4 114.5 121.2 137.4

Mar 2017

107.9 123.0 122.5 117.6 114.8 121.1 138.3

Apr 2017

108.2 123.0 122.6 117.6 115.0 121.1 136.6

May 2017

108.3 123.0 123.0 117.6 114.5 121.1 135.4

Jun 2017

108.4 123.4 123.4 117.7 114.5 121.2 135.6

Jul 2017

108.3 123.6 123.9 117.6 114.8 121.4 137.3

Aug 2017

108.7 124.6 125.3 118.0 116.1 122.3 137.2

Sep 2017

109.2 125.9 126.5 118.6 116.3 123.1 134.7

Oct 2017

109.2 126.3 126.8 118.7 116.4 123.3 135.5

Nov 2017

109.2 126.4 127.0 118.6 116.5 123.3 137.9

Dec 2017

109.1 126.4 127.0 118.5 116.5 123.5 136.3

Jan 2018

109.7 125.9 127.0 118.8 116.6 123.5 135.1

Feb 2018

110.2 125.8 127.1 119.1 116.7 123.5 136.7

Mar 2018

110.5 125.1 127.2 119.1 116.8 123.5 137.3

Apr 2018

110.9 125.1 127.3 119.2 116.8 123.6 136.2

May 2018

111.4 125.1 127.4 119.3 117.2 123.5 140.6

Jun 2018

111.5 125.5 127.8 119.6 117.4 123.6 138.8

Jul 2018

111.5 126.2 128.8 119.3 118.3 123.8 139.5

Aug 2018

111.6 128.0 131.3 120.4 118.8 125.3 137.9

Sep 2018

111.7 128.9 132.7 121.0 118.4 126.2 138.3

Oct 2018

111.9 129.7 132.7 120.5 119.0 126.5 138.8

Nov 2018

111.6 129.9 132.7 120.6 119.0 126.6 138.8

Dec 2018

111.2 129.8 132.6 120.7 119.0 126.6 136.0

Jan 2019

111.4 129.6 132.6 121.3 118.6 126.7 134.2

Feb 2019

111.9 129.7 132.7 121.7 118.5 126.6 135.3

Mar 2019

112.5 129.9 132.7 121.9 117.9 126.6 135.2

Apr 2019

113.1 129.9 132.8 121.9 118.5 126.6 135.7

May 2019

113.4 129.9 132.7 122.6 119.0 126.7 134.7

Jun 2019

113.4 129.9 133.1 123.0 119.5 126.8 135.4

Jul 2019

113.6 129.8 134.0 123.3 120.5 127.0 134.0

Aug 2019

113.6 131.2 135.2 123.6 118.4 128.0 136.8

Sep 2019

113.6 132.0 135.6 124.5 119.5 129.0 133.7

Oct 2019

113.9 132.3 136.2 124.6 119.7 129.2 132.9

Nov 2019

113.8 132.3 136.2 124.6 119.7 129.2 133.5

Dec 2019

113.7 132.0 136.2 124.8 119.7 129.5 133.7

Jan 2020

114.2 132.1 136.2 125.2 120.1 129.6 130.0

Feb 2020

114.5 132.1 136.2 126.0 120.3 129.6 131.1

Mar 2020

114.2 132.1 136.3 126.1 120.4 129.6 131.3

Apr 2020

113.5 132.1 136.7 126.1 121.1 129.6 132.6

May 2020

113.5 132.0 137.1 126.1 121.2 129.6 132.5

Jun 2020

114.1 132.1 136.8 126.6 121.9 129.7 132.2

Jul 2020

114.7 132.5 137.0 126.8 122.8 130.0 132.9

Aug 2020

115.0 132.9 138.5 126.9 122.6 130.7 133.9

Sep 2020

115.2 133.0 139.5 127.4 122.3 131.9 133.5

Oct 2020

115.3 133.1 139.5 127.5 123.1 132.3 133.4

Nov 2020

115.2 133.0 139.4 127.5 123.1 132.3 132.8

Dec 2020

115.3 133.0 139.4 127.6 123.0 132.3 133.8

Jan 2021

115.8 132.7 139.4 127.8 123.2 132.3 133.6

Feb 2021

116.4 132.7 139.4 128.2 123.0 132.4 135.4

Mar 2021

117.2 132.5 139.5 127.1 122.6 132.3 132.3

Apr 2021

118.2 132.5 139.6 127.4 123.0 132.3 133.6

May 2021

119.2 132.5 140.5 128.1 122.9 132.4 134.3

Jun 2021

120.3 132.7 141.1 128.5 123.1 132.5 134.5

Jul 2021

120.8 132.8 141.8 128.9 124.2 132.8 135.5

From July 2011 to March 2018, consumer prices for college textbooks increased 40.6 percent. After steadily decreasing from March 2018 to January 2020, prices for college textbooks have increased since January 2020 but remain well below March 2018 levels. Since July 2011, prices for childcare and nursery school increased 28.9 percent and are at their highest over the last decade.

These data are from the Consumer Price Index program and are not seasonally adjusted. For more consumer price data, see "Consumer Price Index — July 2021." Also see more charts on consumer prices.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Cost of college tuition has remained stable since September 2019 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/cost-of-college-tuition-has-remained-stable-since-september-2019.htm (visited December 04, 2021).

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