As part of the Obama Administration's efforts to keep college within reach for all Americans and encourage institutions to make the costs of college more transparent, the U.S. Department of Education today updated college costs lists on its College Affordability and Transparency Center.
“These lists support our efforts to make college more accessible and to help families make informed decisions on the single most important investment students can make in their own futures,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Empowering students and families with this information is critical to reaching President Obama’s 2020 goal for America to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”
In addition to spotlighting institutions with the highest and lowest tuition and net price, students and families can also search for costs across several categories, including— public and private, for-profit and non-profit, four-year and two-year programs. A total of 4,269 institutions are included on the combined lists, which include:
- Highest tuition and required fees: A list of the 5 percent of institutions that have the highest tuition and required fees for the most recent academic year.
- Highest net price: A list of the 5 percent of institutions that have the highest net price for the most recent academic year.
- Lowest tuition and required fees: A list of the 10 percent of institutions that have the lowest tuition and required fees for the most recent academic year.
- Lowest net price: A list of the 10 percent of institutions that have the lowest net price for the most recent academic year.
- Highest increase in tuition and required fees: A list of the 5 percent of institutions that have the largest increase in tuition and required fees over a three-year period.
- Highest increase in net price: A list of the 5 percent of institutions that have the largest increase in net price, expressed as a percentage change over a three-year period.
Under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the college cost lists are updated annually using data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Additional updated data on individual schools is available on the Department's College Navigator.
In the last few years, the Obama administration has added new consumer tools such as the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet and the College Scorecard to help students and families make more educated decisions about college and easily compare vital information such as college costs, average student loan debt and graduation rates across different institutions.