Tuition & Fees in the West 2016-17

  • Figure 1. Resident Undergraduate Tuition and Fees at Public 
Four-Year Institutions, 2016-17. The WICHE average resident undergraduate tuition and fees at public four-year institutions was $8,931 in 2016-17, with significant variation across the region. Note: Tuition and fees are weighted averages.

  • Figure 2. Percent Change in Resident Undergraduate Tuition and Fees at Public Four-Year Institutions, 2015-16 to 2016-17. From 2015-16 to 2016-17, tuition and fees for resident undergraduates in the WICHE region increased an average of 1.0 percent, with a majority of the states having statewide average increases of over 2.5 percent.

  • Figure 3. 10-Year Change for Resident Undergraduate Tuition and Fees at Public Four-Year Institutions. Tuition and fees at public four-year institutions in the WICHE region increased 58.5 percent between 2006-07 and 2016-17, ranging widely from a slight decrease over the decade in Wyoming to doubling in Hawai‘i. Note: Constant 2016 dollars, using the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).

  • Figure 4. Resident In-District/County Tuition and Fees at Public
Two-Year Institutions, 2016-17. The WICHE average in-district/county tuition and fees at public two-year institutions was $3,468 in 2016-17, excluding California. In 2016-17, South Dakota charged resident in-district/county students the highest tuition and fees, $6,775. California continues to charge the lowest tuition rates for in-district residents, $1,380. Note: Tuition and fees are weighted averages. The average for the two-year institutions excludes California and Alaska institutions. Including California with its large number of students and historically low rates reduces the average resident tuition and fees for two-year institutions in the West to $2,109 for 2016-17. Alaska is not included in the average for two-year institutions, because since 2014-15, no campuses are separately accredited; they now all exist as independent community college campuses under the University of Alaska Anchorage umbrella.

  • Figure 5. Percent Change in Resident In-District/County Tuition and Fees at Public Two-Year Institutions, 2015-16 to 2016-17. relatively flat compared to one year prior.

  • Figure 6. 10-Year Change for Resident In-District/County Undergraduates at Public Two-Year Institutions.The WICHE average tuition and fees for in-district/county undergraduates at two-year institutions increased 27.7 percent between 2006-07 and 2016-17, ranging from a decrease in Montana to an 81 percent increase in Hawai‘i. Note: Constant 2016 dollars, using the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA).

  • Figure 7. State Support for Higher Education, FY 2016 to FY 2017. The WICHE regional average change in state appropriations to higher education from FY16 to FY17 was 2.8 percent, varying from three states with increases over 9 percent to three states with declines. Note: Data not available for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers and Illinois State University, Grapevine, 2017.

  • Figure 8. Educational Appropriations per FTE, FY 2015 to FY 2016. The WICHE regional average change in state appropriations per FTE from FY15 to FY16 was 4.7 percent, with wide variation. When looking at change since FY08, only three states – North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana – had higher appropriations per FTE in FY16. Note: Data not available for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers, State Higher Education Finance FY16.

  • Figure 9. Revenue per FTE, Public Institutions, FY 2016. FY16 per-student state appropriations range from $3,769 in Colorado to $17,620 in Wyoming. Regionally, education appropriations account for 65 percent of per-student revenues, but varied from 31 percent in Colorado to 88 percent in Wyoming. Note: Data not available for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers, State Higher Education Finance FY16.

  • Figure 10. 10-Year Change in WICHE Average Tuition and Fees at Public Four-Year Institutions and Education Appropriations per FTE. State appropriations per FTE decreased by 7 percent in the WICHE region over the past decade, while tuition and fees increased by over 50 percent. Most of the decrease in state support accumulated during the Great Recession, and there have been modest year-over-year increases in the last few years. The largest increases in tuition and fees occurred in years with greatest decreases in state higher education appropriations, and tuition and fees have remained relatively flat in the years since. Note: Constant 2016 dollars, using the Higher Education Cost Adjustment (HECA). Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers, State Higher Education Finance FY16.

  • Figure 11. Tuition and Fees as a Percent of Household Income. Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, tuition and fees in the WICHE region increased by 55 percent at public doctoral and baccalaureate/master’s institutions and 32 percent at public two-year institutions, while the median household income in the region increased only 3 percent. Correspondingly, the portion of tuition and fees as a percent of median income increased substantially. Notes: Tuition and fees amounts are the weighted average of the amounts charged to resident undergraduates at institutions within the WICHE region, by institution type based on Carnegie Classifications (2010). The WICHE average median household income was calculated as a simple average of the 15 member states. Source:  Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Tuition and Fees in Public Higher Education in the West, 2015-16. U.S. Census Bureau, Table H-8: Median household income by state: 1984 to 2015. Accessed 4/3/2017 from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/historical-income-households.html.

WICHE's Policy Analysis and Research unit has released a new Policy Insights summarizing our most recent survey of published tuition and fees prices in all public institutions in the West in 2015-16, state budget levels, higher education appropriations, state financial aid programs, college affordability and related college finance topics and news.

Download files:
The Policy Insight summarizing the trends (May 2016)
Chart slides

The detailed tuition and fee rate data that are summarized in this Policy Insights brief are available here on the WICHE web site: http://wiche.edu/pub/tf, in PDF and Excel file form.