Faculty & Research Progressivity of Pricing at US Public Universities Mar 29, 2022 By Sarah TurnerEmily E. Cook Progressivity of Pricing at US Public Universities Substantial increases in public university tuition often raise concerns about college affordability. But assessment of the impacts on low- and moderate-income families requires consideration of whether net tuition—tuition less grant aid—has increased commensurately. This paper describes recent shifts in net tuition by family income and institution type and assesses the role of changes in state funding in generating these shifts. Using data reported by universities on net tuition paid by students from different family income levels, we find that public research universities have increasingly shifted to high-tuition, high-aid pricing. From 2012 to 2018, net tuition fell by far more than would have been predicted by the growth in state appropriations, while tuition levels continued to rise, albeit at a slower rate than in the prior years. The increased progressivity in pricing, particularly among research universities, cannot be explained by changes in state appropriations. Link to Working Paper Areas of focus Education Sarah Turner Sarah Turner is a University Professor of economics, education and public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Souder Family Endowed Professor. Much of her research focuses on post-secondary education, where she explores the intersection of education and economics policies. Read full bio Emily E. Cook Related Content Sarah Turner Waivers for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: Who Would Benefit from Takeup? Research This research identifies more than $100 billion in loan forgiveness available to as many as 3.5 million borrowers through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver program. Potential beneficiaries of this initiative are disproportionately employed in occupations like teaching and health care. However, the distribution of potential benefits of the PSLF waiver depends critically on the extent to which those with high income or advanced degrees are differentially likely to take-up benefits conditional on eligibility. Limited Supply and Lagging Enrollment: Production Technologies and Enrollment Changes at Community Colleges during the Pandemic Research Weak labor markets typically lead young workers to invest in skills. High unemployment during COVID diverged from prior downturns: enrollment at community colleges dropped by 9.5 percent between 2019 and 2020, with the drop larger among men. Jefferson Scholars Foundation Honors Six Outstanding UVA Faculty Members News Batten Professor of economics, education and public policy Sarah Turner was selected as this year's recipient of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Faculty Prize. Student Loan Payment Pause Benefits High-Income Households the Most News Batten School Professor Sarah Turner, Batten student Eileen Powell and UVA economics doctoral candidate Diego Briones researched who benefits the most from the pause on student loan payments in a piece for Education Next.