New York, NY – As part of its Trends in Higher Education series, the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center today released a new analysis brief, Trends in Public Higher Education: Enrollment, Prices, Student Aid, Revenues, and Expenditures. The brief offers an overview of the issues and circumstances facing public institutions — which play a central role in educating the country’s labor force — and the students enrolled in these institutions.
As total postsecondary enrollment increased from 15.3 million to 20.4 million students between fall 2000 and fall 2009, the total number of students in both the public two-year sector and the public four-year sector increased by about 25%. In fall 2009, three-quarters of all undergraduate students (and 70% of full-time undergraduates) were enrolled in public two-year and four-year institutions.
Relying on data from the College Board reports Trends in Student Aid 2011 and Trends in College Pricing 2011, as well as from the Department of Education and other sources, the brief focuses on trends in enrollment, published prices, and net prices (prices net of grant aid) at public two-year and four-year institutions. It also examines institutional revenue sources and expenditures, the financial aid students receive, and student borrowing patterns at these institutions.
- Degrees Awarded: In 2008-09, three-quarters of all associate degrees, two-thirds of all bachelor’s degrees, and almost half of all graduate degrees were awarded by public colleges and universities.
- Published Prices: In 2011-12, the average published price of tuition and fees for in-state students enrolled in public four-year colleges and universities was $8,244. Out-of-state students faced an average price of $20,770. Tuition is much lower at public two-year colleges, where the average published price was $2,963.
- Sources of Student Aid: In 2010-11, full-time undergraduates at public four-year colleges and universities received about 45% of their grant aid from the federal government and 19% from state governments.
- In contrast, those enrolled at public two-year colleges received 81% of their grant aid from the federal government and only 9% from the states.
- Public four-year colleges provide much more institutional grant aid to their students than public two-year colleges. In 2010-11, public four-year institutions provided 29% of the grant aid received by full-time students in this sector.
- Institutional Expenditures:Increases in per-student expenditures have been much smaller than the increases in tuition and fees.
- Between 2002 and 2008, per-student expenditures increased by an average annual rate of 1% at all types of public institutions.
- Compensation for faculty and staff constitutes a large percentage of the educational expenditures of colleges and universities, but salaries have risen slowly, if at all.
- Average faculty salaries at public two-year colleges declined by 1% in inflation- adjusted dollars from 1989-90 to 1999-2000 and again the following decade.
- At public four-year institutions, average faculty salaries increased by 2% in constant dollars over the decade from 1989-90 to 1999-2000 and by 1% the following decade. Because of the rising prices of health insurance, average total compensation, including both salary and benefits, grew more rapidly.
The brief was authored by Sandy Baum, Senior Fellow, George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and Consultant to the College Board; Jennifer Ma, independent policy analyst at the College Board; and Kathleen Payea, policy analyst at the College Board.
For further information about college prices, student aid and the individual and societal benefits of higher education, please visit the Trends website at http://trends.collegeboard.org.
The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center was established to help transform education in America. Guided by the College Board’s principles of excellence and equity in education, the Center works to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. Critical connections between policy, research and real-world practice are made to develop innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in education today. Drawing from the experience of the College Board’s active membership consisting of education professionals from more than 6,000 institutions, priorities include: College Preparation & Access, College Affordability & Financial Aid, and College Admission & Completion.
Carly Lindauer The College Board firstname.lastname@example.org 212-713-8052