What’s the Average Cost to Attend College?

High School is finally over with and you know your next step is to go to college. Hopefully. Now all you have to do is decide where to go and what type of college you want to attend.

Do you want to go to a Public Two Year College? A Public Four Year College? Or how about either a Private college? Decisions, decisions. It all comes down to the cost.

According to the National Center for Education and The College Board, there was a dramatic increase in cost between Public and Private Colleges.

Average Cost to Attend College per Year: 

  • Public Two-Year School: $3,000-$8,000
  • Public Four-Year School: $8,000-$13,000
  • Public Four-Year School (Out-of-State): $21,000
  • Private Four-Year School: $29,000-$35,000

Not only are you paying for tuition costs but you are also paying for other things. You have to keep in mind the other costs that come your way besides tuition.

Students also have to pay for housing, transportation, food, books, supplies and extra activities that students want to participate in. That can add up quickly and could tack on a few extra thousand dollars.

Other College Expenses:

  • Extra Fees: Besides tuition, other costs can be tacked on based on your college major and the number of credit hours you are taking.
  • Housing: Many colleges offer housing from dorm rooms to small apartments that are on campus. The charges vary depending on where you want to live. If you decide to live off campus, you will have your own rent and other costs.
  • Textbooks and Supplies:  Many colleges now offer rentable books that will save you money if you don’t want to spend all that money on new books. Even used books can be expensive so try to see how much renting a textbook would cost.
  • Personal Expenses: Laundry, personal hygiene products, cell phone bill, going out to eat, and anything else that you would spend money on.
  • Transportation: Hopefully you are lucky and your college offers free transportation for students with campus shuttles or reduced prices for students. If not, try to find a way to save money on getting around by taking the bus or any other way that is cheaper than taking your own car if you brought it with you to school.

I came across an excellent website called The Big Future that helps you figure out how much you will be expected to pay according to your choices of where you want to go, what type of college you want to attend as well as other categories that help map out the costs. I found this website to be extremely helpful because it gives you so many options of things to choose from.

The selected filters that help you calculate your estimated cost for your education is based on:

  • Type of School
  • Location
  • Campus and Housing
  • Majors & Learning Environment
  • Sports & Activities
  • Applying
  • Academic Credit
  • Paying
  • Supportive Services
  • Diversity

After you select all your choices among the categories it pinpoints certain Universities that meet your criteria and help you choose the right college to attend.

If you are not looking to get a Bachelor’s Degree or higher and want to save some money on your education, go to a Public Two Year College. You will save a lot of money and still get a great education for a great price.

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Cayla Gorsh

Cayla Gorsh

Cayla Gorsh is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism with a minor in English. She transferred to the University of Iowa from Scott Community College in Bettendorf Iowa. Outside of school she loves to exercise and stay fit. She is also a huge book nerd and loves to read. She also loves to cook and of course spend time with friends and family.
Cayla Gorsh

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