It is possible to find historical tuition rates for colleges at websites, such as CollegeBoard, National Center for Education Statistics and the Chronicle of Higher Education. These sites provide data for different year dates and different types of colleges and universities.
At the CollegeBoard site, there are historical figures for private nonprofit and public 4-year schools based on 2014 dollars for the years from 1974 to 2015. The data includes information on average tuition and fees and total average tuition that includes additional fees and room and board. For example, at a private nonprofit four year institution the average tuition and fees was $10,273 for the academic year 1974 to 1975, and it was $31,231 for the school year covering 2014 to 2015. At a public institution the figures were $2,149 (1974 to 1975) and $9,139 (2014 to 2015). When room and board are included, the average cost at a private nonprofit for the period 1974 to 1975 was $16,475 and $42,419 for the period 2014 to 2015.
The National Center for Education Statistics and the Chronicle of Higher Education websites also have historical tuition data for different academic years. At the Chronicle of Higher Education, there are tuition costs for more than 3,100 different institutions for the periods from 1998 to 2015. The site has information for 2-year and 4-year institution, such as private, for profit and public colleges and universities. The National Center for Education Statistics provides data for these same types of schools for the years from 1982 through 2013. The average total charges are for full-time students.