Consumer prices dropped by 2.1% for 12 months ending July 2009 (primarily driven by a 28.1% decrease in energy costs. Note that many economists quote an adjusted CPI number which excludes energy and food. Since I like to drive and eat I include those figures). I found these numbers on the College Board site regarding increases in college prices:
Average College Prices 2008-09
Why is this important?
Based on the drop in consumer prices combined with the increases in tuition rates at private and four year colleges, consumers saw a real rate of increase of 8.0%-8.5% in 2008-09, which is quite extraordinary. If you consider that tuition has increased roughly 6%/year over the past decade and inflation has been 2-3% then real rates of increase have been 3-4%. It appears that colleges held a tighter line on price increases, with a NAICU survey of private colleges pointing to an expected increase of 4.3% for 2009-10.
So, I thought it was worth highlighting those schools that have kept a lid on tuition and fees. Here is a list of institutions that I would refer to as the "No Tuition Increase Club for 2009-10:"