College tuition priced at $20,000 in 2000 $49,158.67 in 2017

Historical Price Inflation for College tuition

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for college tuition and fees were 59.32% lower in 2000 versus 2017.

College tuition experienced an average inflation rate of 5.43% per year between 2000 and 2017. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, college tuition costing $20,000 in the year 2000 would cost $49,158.67 in 2017 for an equivalent purchase.

Average pricing changed by 3.97% in 2000, below the yearly average change for college tuition during the 2000-2017 time period. Compared to overall inflation for all items in 2000 (3.27%), 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 (11.85%), 1981 (11.04%), and 1992 (9.71%).

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

Year19771978197919801981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
CPI57.90059.90864.66970.83179.62390.32399.723109.938119.923129.631139.385150.000161.900174.969192.785213.515233.492249.792264.815279.800294.100306.523318.692331.869348.831372.631403.854442.115475.123506.969538.687572.283606.674638.188670.251702.758732.440759.495785.850807.000815.712

View price changes for other categories
Educational books and supplies · Bread · Rent of primary residence · Milk

How to calculate the inflation rate for college tuition, 2000-2017

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2017 / CPI in 2000 * 2000 USD value = 2017 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 815.712 in 2017:

815.712 / 331.869 * $20,000 = $49,158.67

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the "purchasing power" of $20,000 from 2000 is $49,158.67 in 2017 (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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