States' Average College Tuition

HEHS-96-213R: Published: Sep 19, 1996. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on states' average college tuition costs, focusing on tuition increases between school years 1980-81 and 1994-95 compared to increases in other selected consumer prices and median household incomes. GAO noted that: (1) average tuition costs and fees for in-state undergraduates of public 4-year colleges and universities for academic year 1994-95 were 8.9 percent of median household income; (2) average state tuitions vary widely, ranging from 3.61 percent of median household income in Hawaii to 15.42 percent in Vermont; (3) differences in state tuition averages are more closely related to tuition prices rather than income levels; (4) from school years 1980-81 through 1994-95, college tuition costs for in-state undergraduates increased 234 percent; and (5) during the same period, medical costs increased 182 percent, new car prices increased 160 percent, and household incomes increased 82 percent.

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