College tuition priced at $20,000 in 2000 $50,030.83 in 2018

Historical Price Inflation for College tuition

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Prices for College Tuition, 2000-2018 ($20,000)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for college tuition and fees were 150.15% higher in 2018 versus 2000.

Between 2000 and 2018: College tuition experienced an average inflation rate of 5.23% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, college tuition costing $20,000 in the year 2000 would cost $50,030.83 in 2018 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.09% during this same period, inflation for college tuition was similar.

In the year 2000: Pricing changed by 4.13%, below the average yearly change for college tuition during the 2000-2018 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 2000 (3.38%), price inflation for college tuition was higher.

Price Inflation for College tuition and fees since 1977

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1982 (13.44%), 1981 (12.41%), and 1992 (10.75%).

Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for College tuition and fees:

Year 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
CPI 57.900 59.908 64.669 70.831 79.623 90.323 99.723 109.938 119.923 129.631 139.385 150.000 161.900 174.969 192.785 213.515 233.492 249.792 264.815 279.800 294.100 306.523 318.692 331.869 348.831 372.631 403.854 442.115 475.123 506.969 538.687 572.283 606.674 638.188 670.251 702.758 732.440 759.495 785.850 807.000 823.129 830.185

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How to calculate the inflation rate for college tuition, 2000-2018

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2018 / CPI in 2000 * 2000 USD value = 2018 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for College tuition and fees was 331.869 in the year 2000 and 830.185 in 2018:

830.185 / 331.869 * $20,000 = $50,030.83

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20,000 in 2000 has the same "purchasing power" as $50,030.83 in 2018 (in the category of College tuition and fees).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for College tuition and fees in 1977. In addition to college tuition, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of other goods and services.

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