Private vs. Public College Average Annual Revenue per Student
"As itemized in Table 1, the average private undergraduate college has net tuition revenues—sticker-price tuition and academic fees minus tuition discounts (often called institutional scholarships)—of $13,515 per student per year, plus $7,292 per student per year in donations and endowment income. ... Based on tuition revenues alone, the average private undergraduate school makes about $5,500 per student. When donations and endowment income are added, profits jump to $12,800 per student. That’s more than a 60 percent net profit margin per student—double the margin of for-profit Phoenix—and that’s just the average. Many private colleges are much more profitable from tuition alone.
Public colleges are also highly profitable, as illustrated in Table 2. Take a typical public research university that charges in-state tuition of $10,000 per student ... and receives a state subsidy of $12,000 per student. The difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition is a good proxy for the subsidy for in-state students. ... Assume that $3,000 of the subsidy is earmarked for research and public service, leaving $9,000 to subsidize undergraduate education. The university has a 20 percent margin simply from in-state tuition. Margins jump to 58 percent when the state subsidy for undergraduate education is included."