The impact of tuition increases on enrollment at public colleges and universities


Journal Article (Review)

In this paper we review recent increases in tuition at public institutions and estimate impacts on enrollment. We use data on all U.S. public 4-year colleges and universities from 1991 to 2006 and illustrate that tuition increased dramatically beginning in the early part of this decade. We examine impacts of such increases on total enrollment and credit hours, and estimate differences by type of institution. We estimate that the average tuition and fee elasticity of total headcount is -0.0958. At the mean, a $100 increase in tuition and fees would lead to a decline in enrollment of about 0.25 percent, with larger effects at Research I universities. We find limited evidence that especially large tuition increases elicit disproportionate enrollment responses. © 2011 AERA.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Hemelt, SW; Marcotte, DE

Published Date

  • December 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 435 - 457

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1935-1062

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0162-3737

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3102/0162373711415261

Citation Source

  • Scopus