Report

College Costs and Prices
Some Key Facts for Policymakers

Tuition is rising, more students are in debt and at higher levels than ever before, and pressure is mounting from every direction and in both political parties—from the White House to state legislatures to overwhelmed parents and students—to do something about it.

On the other hand, many colleges and college systems across the country have become more innovative and resourceful in providing higher education at lower cost, reducing expenditures on business operations, taking advantage of new technology, and redesigning instruction to make better use of expensive faculty time. So why hasn’t this translated—usually—into costs savings for students?

A few key facts about higher education costs and prices may provide some context for the current policy debate.