Commonfund Institute today announced that the first 2019 estimate for the Commonfund Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) indicates inflation for U.S. colleges and universities is forecasted to rise 2.6 percent in fiscal year 2019, based on data available year-to-date through April 30, 2019. The HEPI estimate is calculated with available year-to-date data points coupled with a forecast of remaining numbers based on historical data.
As part of a broader plan to further enhance HEPI, Commonfund Institute will be regularly releasing HEPI estimates throughout the year in order to enable institutions to more accurately plan their future budgets in advance of the annual HEPI report published in December. HEPI is an inflation index designed specifically for use by institutions of higher education. Compiled from data reported by government agencies and industry sources, HEPI 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. A more accurate indicator of cost changes for colleges and universities than the CPI, HEPI is used primarily to project future budget increases required to preserve purchasing power.
With compilations dating back to 1961, HEPI offers nearly 60 continuous years of higher education inflation data. It is an essential tool enabling schools to determine increases in funding necessary to maintain both real purchasing power and investment. In 2005, Commonfund Institute assumed responsibility for the index and the proprietary model used to calculate HEPI’s values from Research Associates of Washington, D.C.