Choosing a College: Weigh the Costs
It’s no secret that the cost of college goes in one direction…up. We’ve put the numbers together for you below to give you an idea of what you might be facing when that tuition bill comes due.
Public vs. private
You already know that a private college or university will cost more than a public, four-year in-state institution. However, the annual cost is about 2.5 times as much, with tuition, fees, room and board for four years at a private college costing on average $142,544.
A 2009 study by the College Board, a national non-profit association of schools, colleges, and educational organizations, found the average cost for tuition, fees, room and board to attend a four-year private college or university is $35,636, while a four-year public institution averages $15,213 per year for an in-state resident.
In state vs. out of state
Costs to attend public colleges or universities in other states are also usually higher than for comparable institutions located in your state. At four-year institutions, the College Board found that the average difference is $11,528.
It’s important to note that published charges do not reflect the prices most students pay. About one-third of full-time students pay without the assistance of grant aid, and some of these students receive federal tax credits and deductions to help cover expenses.
Tuition is just the tip of the iceberg
Tuition, fees, room and board are just part of the costs that will be incurred. As you begin looking for schools and weighing costs, also remember to look at:
- Computer and related supplies
- Books and related supplies
- Dorm room furnishings
- Travel expenses to and from home
- Phone charges to call and ask for more money
- Laundry, sundry and spending money needs
Source: The College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing 2009”
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