A new annual Commonfund Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) revealed that inflation for higher education institutions rose by 2.5 percent during the 2019 fiscal year.
The index which is used by various higher education institutions measures the average relative level in the price of a fixed market basket of goods and services purchased by colleges and universities each year through current fund educational and general expenditures, excluding research.
Overall, the HEPI tracks eight different components. During the 2019 fiscal year, the cost rose in three components, declined in four and remained unchanged in one.
Clerical costs, service employee costs and administrative salaries rose between 2.4 percent to 4.0 percent. Faculty salaries, utilities tied with faculty salaries, supplies and materials, fringe benefits witnessed a reduction in their inflation rate, while the cost for miscellaneous services component stayed unchanged.
When compared to the price increase over the last three fiscal years, annual costs increased as much as 14.5 percent or decreased as much as-20.2 percent.
“FY2017’s 3.4percent was the highest rate of inflation in recent years and the highest since 5.0 percent in FY2008. FY2018’s 2.9percent was, nevertheless, considerably higher than the 1.4 percent reported for FY2016 and FY2015’s 2.0 percent,” the report says.
Earlier this year, the Institute in its report has predicted a 2.6 percent rise in inflation during the current fiscal year.