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What Is The Average Cost Of College

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Cost Of Books And School Supplies

What Is the Average Cost For 4-Years of College?

The average price of books and school supplies for students at both public and private colleges in 2021-2022 is $1,240.

Textbook prices have risen 812 percent since 1978, according to a 2019 report by Follet, an educational products company. Borrowing books from the library or purchasing digital or used textbooks can reduce your costs, but students still find budgeting for textbooks to be a major source of stress, according to a survey of current and former college students by textbook publisher Cengage. Thirty-one percent of the students surveyed said they took fewer classes to save on textbook costs, and 43 percent said they skipped meals or took out loans to pay for course materials.

Is Private College Worth The Cost

In some cases, it could pay to attend private college, even if it means taking out more student loans to swing tuition. If you’re set on a specific career path, and a private university has a specialized program that caters to that field, then the premium to attend could be worth it.

Similarly, attending a well-known college could better position you for a job in certain elite fields. For example, some top financial firms make a point to only recruit from Ivy League schools. If you’re intent on breaking into investment banking, it could make sense to pay up for one of them .

On the other hand, if you don’t have a specific career path or major in mind, then a private college may not be worth the cost if there’s a cheaper alternative. Even if you are set on your major, if it’s something offered universally, attending a more expensive school may not make sense. For example, you can major in English or history just about anywhere, so why pay roughly $37,000 a year for a liberal arts degree when you can pay a fraction of that at a public college?

Ultimately, there are benefits and drawbacks to choosing a private college. Either way, be sure to have a full grasp of your costs before accepting a spot at one, and know that generally speaking, you stand to save money on college by sticking with public schools.

Estimate Future College Costs With The College Cost Projector

This calculator estimates the annual cost for your child to attend college at a certain time in the future, based on historical trends. It can also be used to help compare college costs. Costs include tuition, fees, room, and board. Not sure when you’re child will be in college? Use the chart at the bottom of this page for assistance. And once you’ve calculated your future college costs, head to our College Savings Plans page to learn how you can start saving for college in the U.Fund and U.Plan.

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It Can Take More Than Four Years To Graduate

When it comes to getting a bachelors degree, youll probably anticipate graduating within four years. However, that may not be realistic. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that just 58% of students who enrolled in college in 2012 earned a degree within six years. The rest of the students were either still in school or dropped out.

For every additional year youre in school, you rack up additional expenses and likely will need to take on more student loan debt to pay for your education. Taking six years or more to graduate can cause you to leave school with even more debt, and it may be difficult to dig yourself out.

How Much Does College Really Cost

Average Cost of College in America: 2019 Report

When it comes to paying for college, theres a lot more to consider than just the tuition bill. College students should also think about how much everything from an apartment to flying back home for break to late-night munchies will cost them. And while these costs add up, theres no need to panic: Weve got ways you can save big.

To help you figure out how much college will cost you each year, weve made a list of the major expenses and the price tag for each. The quick gist of it is this: The bulk of your college expenses come from your tuition, fees, room and board, which altogether typically cost anywhere from about $17,000 to $29,600 to $38,500 per year , according to a study by the College Board. Add in personal expenses, books, supplies and transportation, and the total annual tab balloons to about $21,500 for an in-state public university to $34,000 for an out-of-state student at a public school to over $42,000 for a private college.*

Of course, its a little more complicated than that. So, heres a detailed look at what youll pay for college each yearand how you can save on each expense.

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What Is The Average Cost Of College

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How much will college cost for students aiming to enter in the fall of 2022?

How much does college cost today? Is it worth it to pay that much for a college degree? Well, we have the data through 2019 , so let’s break it down.

Tuition Costs Of Colleges And Universities

Question:What are the trends in the cost of college education?


For the 201819 academic year, annual current dollar prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board were estimated to be $18,383 at public institutions, $47,419 at private nonprofit institutions, and $27,040 at private for-profit institutions. Between 200809 and 201819, prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at public institutions rose 28 percent, and prices at private nonprofit institutions rose 19 percent, after adjustment for inflation. The price for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at private for-profit institutions were 6 percent lower in 201819 than in 200809, after adjustment for inflation.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. . Digest of Education Statistics, 2019 , Chapter 3.

Average total tuition, fees, room and board rates charged for full-time undergraduate students in degree-granting institutions, by level and control of institution: Selected years, 198586 to 201819
Year and control
44,662 28,627

1Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index, prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to an academic-year basis.2Room and board data are estimated.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. . Digest of Education Statistics, 2019 , Table 330.10.

Related Tables and Figures:

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First Things First: The Fafsa

A common first step for students interested in securing federal financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Aid . In order to qualify for federal aid, students must meet some basic eligibility criteria , such as demonstrating financial need.

As you get ready to apply, pay attention to deadlines, as they can vary by school and state. After you fill out the FAFSA, youll receive an award letter detailing the type of aid you qualify for. This may include scholarships and grants, work-study, and/or federal student loans.

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Planning ahead is one way to set yourself up to successfully pay for college. If youre not quite ready to fill out the FAFSA yet, you can use the FAFSA4caster to get an idea of how much aid you might qualify for.

Average Cost Of College Statistics And Key Findings

How Much Does College Actually Cost?
  • Average Total Cost of Public Colleges: $25,290 $40,940
  • Average Total Cost of Private Colleges: $50,900
  • More than 19.9 million students are projected to attend American colleges and universities in fall 2018, with around 6.7 million going to two-year institutions and 13.3 million going to four-year institutions.
  • The majority of students pay between $6,000 and $15,000 in tuition for both public and private schools in the United States.
  • New England has the highest tuition cost for both two-year and four-year public schools, with an average of $5,370 and $12,990, respectively.

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Average Amount Of Financial Aid

The average cost of college has actually decreased each year for the past few years, and the amount of student aid each student receives has increased. While the average tuition cost is high, there’s a good chance you won’t pay full price. According to data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics, about 86% of students receive some form of financial aid.

According to data from CollegeBoard, the average undergraduate student received $10,050 worth of student aid during the 2020-2021 school year, excluding earnings from federal work-study programs. The average graduate student received slightly less, at $8,860 per year.

School year
5.30% 6.28%

Student loans taken out for the 2022-2023 school year will have solid interest rates. Subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans will carry a 3.73% interest rate for undergraduate borrowers, and 5.28% for graduate borrowers. PLUS loan interest rates are at 6.28% for the upcoming school year for undergraduate and graduate borrowers.

Private student loans are also an option. Offered by banks, , and online lenders, private student loans are an alternative to federal student loans.

According to data from private student lender LendEDU, the average private student loan interest rate tends to be higher than federal student loan interest rates.


Average Cost Of Books For College Statistics

14. The cost of college textbooks can add up to over $1,000 a year.

College textbooks are infamous for burdening down students, not only literally, but also in price. Many students have also complained that besides paying a lot of money, they didnt even use some of the textbooks at all. Still, a study done by US PIRG found that 94% of students who didnt have the textbook required for a class felt their academic progress was impacted negatively. The average cost of college textbooks is estimated to be around $1,200 per year.

15. Over two-thirds of students choose to buy old books instead of paying the high fees for new ones.

While this might not always be an option since some classes require supplemental materials that will only come with a new book, most of the time it is a viable alternative. Besides, your chances of finding a book that still is in good shape are fairly high. If some notes and scribbles here and there are not distracting, this option can be a significant cost saver. To top it all off, at the end of the semester, you can then resell it yourself, and recoup some of your money, lowering your average cost of college books significantly.

16. Over half of students rent textbooks.

17. Digital books can more than halve textbook costs.

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Average Cost Of Room & Board

The determining factor in the cost of room and board is whether the student lives on or off campus.

  • At 4-year institutions, the cost of room and board ranges from $10,216 to $11,945.
  • At public 4-year institutions, students living on campus pay an average of $11,451 annually for room and board off-campus boarders pay $10,781.
  • At private, nonprofit institutions, on-campus boarders pay an average of $12,682 per academic year students living off campus pay $9,762.
  • At private, for-profit institutions, on-campus room and board averages $10,654 students living off campus pay an average of $8,027.
  • There is wider variation in room and board costs at 2-year institutions.
  • At public 2-year institutions, students living on campus pay an average of $7,165 for their annual room and board students living off campus pay $9,316.
  • At private, nonprofit 2-year colleges, on-campus boarders pay $11,723 annually off-campus boarders pay $9,429.
  • Private, for-profit institutions charge $10,369 on average for room and board students living off campus pay $9,222.
  • Average Cost Of College Per Year Stats

    Average Cost of College in America: 2019 Report

    7. In the United States, the average yearly college cost for in-state university students is $25,864.

    Meanwhile, the median price of in-state tuition is $9,580 per year, and the additional expenses a student should expect to have to support themselves are around $16,284. Out-of-state tuition averages $27,437, with estimated $16,284 additional expenses needed, totaling $43,721.

    8. Nonprofit university students spend $53,949 as their average yearly cost of college.

    As much as $37,200 from the total per-year amount goes to tuition and other fees. The remaining $16,749 meanwhile goes to cover related costs. For-profit college attendees pay an average of $34,548 per year in total. Out of that, $13,475 goes to annual college fees, and $21,073 is allocated for the rest.

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    The Coa Is Not The Same As Your Bill

    The official COA is different than what you will end up paying because the COA is just an average of what your school could cost. Your actual school costs may be more, or they may be less.

    For example, at most schools, it will cost more to choose a single room dorm over having roommates, or you could save by living with roommates off-campus . Choosing a more comprehensive meal plan than the average could increase costs while cooking at home and taking a smaller meal plan could save you money. Similarly, if you take a course that requires specific equipment or software, you could pay more, but if you take a course where you can borrow all of the supplies, you may end up paying less.

    The important thing to remember is that you wont receive one bill that covers everything. Your school will bill you for direct expenses such as tuition, dorm costs, and dining hall meal plans, but costs such as books, transportation, and other expenses will be separate.

    Average Cost Of College Americas Flagship Universities

    Flagship universities are the most well-known and largest public schools in any given state. The most expensive flagship schools can cost upward of $35,000 a year for in-state students and over $70,000 a year for out-of-state students. The least expensive schools can be as low as $19,000 per year for in-state students and $22,000 for out-of-state students.

    Heres a comprehensive list of each states flagship university and the total cost of undergraduate attendance per year for both in-state and out-of-state students.

    Average cost of college at Americas flagship universities, 2021-22


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    Why Are College Tuitions So High

    There are a many of causes for this, including increased demand, more financial assistance, decreased state support, the expanding expense of administrators, and inflated student amenity packages. The most costly institutions Columbia, Vassar, and Duke will cost you well over $50,000 a year just for tuition and room and board alone.

    College Cost Of Attendance Continues To Rise

    What is the Price of College?

    The chart below shows that even after adjusting for inflation, the net cost of attendance has increased by almost 30% at public universities in the last decade and by 10% at private nonprofit schools over the same period. Note that these figures differ from the breakouts provided above because they exclude books and supplies, transportation, and other expenses.

    Of course, costs and the quality of education provided can vary dramatically from school to school. You can use the U.S. Department of Educations College Affordability and Transparency Center to research and compare colleges and find the net price of attendance at thousands of schools.

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    Value Of College Degree

    The reality is that people with college degrees, on average, are more financially stable than those without them. For example, the average worker with just a high school diploma earns $30,500 annually, whereas the average college graduate with a bachelors degree earns $44,000 annually. The cost of college should be weighed against the value of what youre getting in return. After all, it is an investment in your future.Interesting College Degree Facts and Statistics

    A college degree has three important factors to consider: education, earning potential, and career opportunities.

    Earning Potential

    On average, college graduates are twice as likely to make an additional $1 million in earnings.

    Career opportunities

    College graduates are more likely to gain an advantage in their careers than people without degrees. According to Glassdoor, the five highest-paying college majors include

    1. Computer Science

    Read More: 10 of the Highest Paying College Majors

    There are many different factors to consider when calculating the true cost of college. For many students, it can be easy to overlook some of these expenses, and many of these unanticipated costs often take college students by surprise. Fortunately, students have several options when it comes to paying for college. With a mix of financial aid, grants, scholarships, federal and private student loans, students can pursue higher education and work towards their career goals.

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