Higher Ed Cost Increases Up Slightly in 2008

September 10, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - New data shows higher education costs were up 3.6% in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, a 20-basis point rise above the 3.4% hike seen a year earlier.

ACommonfund Institute news release about its   Higher Education Price Index (HEPI)said the latest figure compares with an annualized Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 3.7% for the same period.

Eight cost factors contribute to the HEPI regression calculation: Faculty Salaries, Administrative Salaries, Clerical, Service Employees, Fringe Benefits, Miscellaneous Services, Supplies & Materials and Utilities.  

Components most heavily weighted are Faculty and Clerical Salaries and Fringe Benefits. Supplies & Materials and Utilities represent the second-lowest and third-lowest weightings, respectively. Taken together, these two cost factors have a weighting of 12.3% in the regression equation that determines the final figure.

Among the other cost factors, while the inflation rate of Faculty Salaries stayed constant at 3.8%, Administrative Salaries’ inflation rate increased from 4% to 5%. The inflation rates of the other four factors showed a decline.

Clerical salaries increased by 3.1% versus 3.6% last year, Service Employee costs increased by 3.2% versus 4%, Fringe Benefit inflation slowed to 3.7% from 5%, and inflation for Miscellaneous Services declined to 3.4% from 4.2%.

More information is at  http://www.commonfund.org/Commonfund/CF+Institute/CI_About_HEPI.htm .