According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for college tuition and fees were 146.20% lower in 2000 than in 2017.
College tuition experienced an average inflation rate of 5.44% 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 $49,240.25 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.
Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for College tuition and fees:
How to calculate inflation for college tuition between 2000 and 2017
Start with the CPI inflation 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 331.800 in the year 2000 and 816.896 in 2017:
816.896 / 331.800 * $20,000 = $49,240.25
Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the "purchasing power" of $20,000 from 2000 is $49,240.25 in 2017 (in the category of College tuition and fees).