According to the College Board’s 2018 Trends in College Pricing Report, from 1988 to 2018, tuition prices tripled at public four-year schools and doubled at public two-year and private non-profit four-year schools.
But tuition rates and published sticker prices are not entirely indicative of the cost of college today. During the 2018-2019 school year, the reported tuition at private non-profit four-year schools was an average $35,830. But in reality, many students end up paying far less after grants and scholarships are factored in. The average net price of tuition and fees in 2019 is $14,610.
At Cornell University, many students end up paying less than the published tuition price — some significantly so. For the 2019-2020 academic year, undergraduate tuition for New York residents studying agriculture and life sciences, human ecology or industrial and labor relations is $37,880 per year, while tuition for students from other states and studying other subjects is $56,500.