Tuition At Top Colleges Is Rising

Tuition at Top Colleges is Rising

Top colleges are increasing tuition by an average of 3.7% next year.

Forbes reports that the median sticker price for undergraduate tuition next year at the top 20 schools will be $58,396. Amherst College has the highest tuition sticker price at $63,500. The University of Southern California saw the highest percentage increase in tuition of 5%.

“For most institutions, the increases were larger than the past two years, during which the Covid-19 pandemic led many colleges and universities to keep the lid on tuition hikes as much as possible,” Michael T. Nietzelm, Senior Contributor at Forbes, writes.


It’s important to note that while tuition sticker price has increased at top colleges, most students actually do not pay full sticker price. In fact, the average tuition discount lands at 54.5% for students across 359 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. At top colleges, the median institutional discount rate for first-time undergraduates in 2021-22 was 44.8%.

“In other words, by handing out grants, fellowships, and scholarships from their own revenue, these colleges reduced about half the revenue they otherwise would have collected if all students had paid the full published tuition price,” Nietzelm writes. “Among first-time undergraduates, almost 90% received some form of institutional financial aid.”


Many top colleges have also recently announced generous financial aid packages for low- and moderate-income families. At Princeton University, for example, admission is need-blind. That means, if a student is offered admission, Princeton will meet 100% of the student’s demonstrated financial need with grant aid.

It’s a similar approach being taken across many top colleges—a collective effort at making college education more accessible to those in need. At University of California schools, a Tuition Stability Plan was announced last July. Under the plan, tuition and fees for students will be “held flat” (aside from changes in inflation) from the time they enroll until they graduate, for up to six years.

Sources: Forbes, Princeton University, University of California

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