Across the country, tuition rates are rising for private and public colleges at a rate under 2 percent, according to a report published by the College Board this week. At Penn, the increase in the 2017-2018 tuition rate was nearly twice that at 3.9 percent.
Penn is not the only Ivy League school whose tuition hikes are above the national average of 1.9 percent for private, four-year colleges. Brown University, Cornell University, Harvard University and Yale University all raised their cost of attendance by 3.5 to 4 percent for this academic year.
The College Board study also showed that students, on average, are not seeing adjustments in their financial aid packages that reflect these growing costs.
The average cost of tuition students pay after financial aid, tax benefits and grants rose by 4.6 percent to $14,530 this year at private universities. Net costs including room and board were $14,940.
Penn students graduating in 2021 received an average of $50,171 in financial aid this year, according to the Office of Admissions web page. With the cost of attendance for freshmen totalling $72,584, the average cost of tuition and fees after financial aid was $22,413, over $7,000 more than the national average.
Though rising tuition costs can be concerning for students, increases this year were smaller than those in years past. The number is still concerning for experts who study higher education costs.
“The price increases are moderate, but these increases are still higher than inflation,” Jennifer Ma, senior policy research scientist for the College Board told The Wall Street Journal.