KIT Shows Dramatic Increase in Aid to Students

​CIC released the 2015 Key Indicators Tool (KIT) benchmarking report to presidents of member institutions in March 2016. The report shows a dramatic increase in the financial aid provided by CIC member colleges and universities to their students. Total institutional aid increased by 34.9 percent over the most recent five years covered by the report (2009–2010 to 2013–2014). This increase is double the rise in the published price for tuition and fees (16.3 percent) over the same period.
“Data from the 2015 KIT report show that CIC institutions are working hard to keep a private college education affordable,” said Harold V. Hartley III, CIC senior vice president. “Colleges are rapidly increasing the amount of their own resources awarded to students in the form of financial aid, and noticeably are doing so at twice the rate of tuition increases.”
Total institutional aid comes from both funded (for example, endowed scholarships) and unfunded sources. The increase in unfunded aid—the amount directly out of institutional operating budgets—rose even more rapidly at 38.5 percent. Even so, net tuition revenue per student remained steady across the CIC sector over the most recent three years, from $14,075 in 2011–2012 to $14,115 in 2013–2014.
The KIT aims to improve the capacity of member institutions to gain access to and use data in order to enhance institutional decision making and improve institutional effectiveness. Twenty indicators measure institutional performance in four key areas: student enrollment and progression, faculty composition and compensation, tuition revenue and financial aid, and financial resources and expenditures. The KIT is based on the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
The confidential reports were prepared exclusively for each institutional member president by the Austen Group and, thanks to generous support by TIAA, were made available this year at no cost to the institution. For more information about KIT and other CIC benchmarking services, visit


Council of Independent Colleges institutions are working hard to keep private higher education affordable.

Median Increase in Total Institutional Aid per Student at Baccalaureate and Master’s-Level Independent Colleges and Universities by Region of the Country

sample KIT data from 2009 through 2014
Source: Council of Independent Colleges’ 2015 Key Indicators Tool; data are from IPEDS.