Tuition growth slows in comparison to inflation

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In 2018, inflation was 2.4 percent while the average increase in college tuition at public universities in Michigan was 1.2 percent and was just 1.0 percent at independent, non-profit colleges and universities.

The rising cost of higher education is a common discussion topic. Institutions of higher education know that the cost of attendance is an extremely important factor to consider for families and students. In Michigan, colleges and universities work hard to keep tuition affordable for all students.

Average tuition levels fluctuate each year depending on the types of programs students enroll in, staffing requirements, the cost of educational resources such as lab space, computer upgrades, and other considerations.

The rate of inflation is often used as a benchmark to understand how rapidly the cost of something is increasing relative to other items. When comparing the average change in tuition at higher education institutions in Michigan to inflation, the data show that inflation is rising faster.

In the past seven years, changes in tuition levels have fluctuated from as low as a 1.0 percent change to as high as 4.4 percent change from the previous year. Since 2015, however, the trend for higher education tuition has been strongly negative with tuition growth slowing down dramatically while inflation is increasing.

Colby Cesaro