Education Department Releases Latest College Cost Data to Help Families Make Informed Decisions

Archived Information

Education Department Releases Latest College Cost Data to Help Families Make Informed Decisions

June 27, 2013

Today, the U.S. Department of Education updated its College Affordability and Transparency Lists as part of the Administration's ongoing effort to increase transparency around the cost of college. The updated lists highlight institutions with the highest tuition prices, highest net prices, and institutions whose costs are rising at the fastest rates.

"With so much information out there, it's important that students and their families are equipped with the tools they need to make informed decisions about where to go to college," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Everyone has a role to play in keeping college affordable, and these lists help consumers compare the costs of higher education institutions."

The lists, available at the College Affordability and Transparency Center, are required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and released by the Department to make the costs of college more transparent for students and their families.

In 2011, the Department published the first set of College Affordability and Transparency Lists. Last year, the Department updated the lists to include newer information. Similar to previous releases, three of this year's lists focus on tuition and fees, and three others look at the institution's average net price, which is the average price of attendance that is paid by full-time, first-time students after grants and scholarships are taken into account. Those colleges and universities where prices are rising the fastest will report why costs have gone up and how the institution will address rising prices, and the Department will summarize these reports into a document that it will post online.

Of the approximately 7,500 Title IV participating institutions of higher education, there are 1,498 institutions included on these lists, and schools are allowed to appear on more than one of the lists.

In addition to the College Affordability and Transparency Lists, the Administration has also released other tools to help families as they pursue higher education. The College Scorecard and Financial Aid Shopping Sheet are two of the Administration's latest resources that provide consumers with easy-to-understand information about institutions and affordability. These tools are all part of the Administration's continued efforts to hold colleges accountable for cost, value, and quality so that students choose a students choose a schools that is well-suited to meet their needs, priced affordable, and is consistent with their education and career goals.

In response to several requests from consumers last year for more comparison data, the Department provided tuition and net price information for all institutions, broken out by sector in order to allow students to compare costs at similar types of schools. The comprehensive lists are provided this year as well.

Highest tuition and fees (top 5 percent)
Highest average net price (top 5 percent)
Lowest tuition and fees (bottom 10 percent)
Lowest average net price (bottom 10 percent)
Highest percentage increases in tuition and fees (top 5 percent)
Highest percentage increases in average net price (top 5 percent)

4-year public
4-year private nonprofit
4-year private for-profit
2-year public
2-year private nonprofit
2-year private for-profit
Less-than-2-year public
Less-than-2-year private nonprofit
Less than-2-year private for-profit

Institutions report data on their tuition and fees and net price annually through the Department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Additional updated data on individual schools is available on the Department's College Navigator site. To view the lists, visit: