Putting together the Independent College 500 Index®
The Independent College 500 Index (IC 500), your guide to yearly costs at independent colleges across the country, measures the change in cost at schools meeting the following criteria:
- Control: Independent (private)
- Type: Four-year college
- Accreditation: Regional (including "candidate" status)
- Number of students living in college housing: 15 percent or more of full-time undergraduates
The IC 500 was first published following the 1986-87 school year. Drawing on data culled from the 1986-87 edition of the College Board's Annual Survey of Colleges, total direct charges (TDC) for the academic year were computed by adding the costs of tuition and fees (T&F) to room and board (R&B), and then multiplying that number by enrollment (E), or the total number of full-time undergraduates. This calculation can be envisioned as:
TDC = [(T&F + R&B) * E]
The 500 institutions with the highest TDC formed the original sample for the IC 500. Every three to five years, the current sample is evaluated for possible replacements. A replacement process was conducted in 2017-18 consisting of 20 institutions.
The current distribution of the IC 500 institutions by College Board region is as follows:
|College Board Region||Number of Institutions|
The states with the most IC 500 institutions are New York, with 58 schools, and Pennsylvania, with 57 schools.