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Adjustments to the Independent College 500 Index

Data collection for the 2015-16 Annual Survey of Colleges began in fall 2015 and ended in spring 2016. The IC 500 is computed annually in mid-summer using this data. Normally, conditions at the 500 institutions that comprise the IC 500 remain stable. However, the pool of eligible institutions is reviewed annually, and periodic adjustments may be required such as this year's replacement process. Colleges may close down, experience a change in structure so that they are no longer private nonprofit or they may experience changes in their relative total direct charges significant enough to affect their inclusion or exclusion in the IC 500.

Other trends in college pricing that have emerged recently include the offering of "pay as you go" meal plans in lieu of traditional board plans and tiered tuition offered to students and families by both level and program.