Regional Trend Showing Tuition and Fees Remain Steady as State Financial Aid Increases

Regional Trend Showing Tuition and Fees Remain Steady as State Financial Aid Increases

BOULDER, Colo. – The most recent data on tuition, appropriations, and state grant aid present an economic outlook that appears favorable in the West, according to a brief released by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

Tuition and Fees, Appropriations, and Financial Aid in the West, 2022-23: Trends and Implications, produced annually by WICHE’s Policy Analysis and Research unit as part of its WICHE Insights policy brief series, analyzes results of its annual survey on tuition and fees in the West, as well as trends in state appropriations and state financial aid.

Each spring, WICHE collects tuition and fees data from the 350-plus public colleges and universities in its region, which includes 15 Western U.S. states and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States, and then publishes these data by institution, sector, state, and region for resident/nonresident undergraduate and graduate rates in its comprehensive Tuition and Fees brief and online interactive dashboard.

Overall, the brief highlights a positive trend in state higher education finance as most postsecondary institutions in the WICHE region reported minimal tuition rate changes along with increases in state appropriations and financial aid over the past academic and fiscal years. Although most states increased state fiscal support over the past year, many higher education institutions and systems are facing rising costs and declining enrollments, presenting challenges in addressing affordability and meeting workforce needs. Key takeaways from the brief include:

  • Regional average tuition and fees for resident undergraduates at public four-year institutions were $10,309 in academic year (AY) 2022-23, an increase of 2.8% from AY 2021-22.
  • Regional average in-district tuition and fees at public two-year institutions, excluding California, were $4,303 in AY 2022-23 and increased 2.0% from the year prior.
  • Every state in the region increased or maintained state fiscal support in FY 2023 compared to FY 2022.
  • Total state financial aid dollars in the West have increased substantially in the past decade with more aid being awarded based on need than the national average.
  • Although tuition, appropriations, and financial aid trends indicate a positive economic situation in recent years, institutions and systems face considerable challenges in declining enrollment and rising costs.

Media Contact:
Melanie Sidwell, Director of Communications
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Since 1953, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education has been strengthening higher education, workforce development, and behavioral health throughout the region. By promoting innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy, WICHE strengthens higher education’s contributions to the region’s social, economic, and civic life. WICHE members include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States. Visit

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