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What Does College Cost?


When including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, travel expenses, etc. there are many colleges that will cost more than $70,000 per year. YIKES! But don't panic, there is much more to the college cost story.

First, not even counting financial aid or scholarships, there are many cheaper college options. A local community college may only cost $3000-$5000 per year for a full load of courses, if you're living at home. Some are even less expensive than that. An in-state public college or university may cost $10,000-$20,000 per year - sometimes less - depending on your state and what you want to study. It's the out-of-state public and the private colleges and universities that can get especially pricey when financial aid and scholarships are not factored in.

But financial aid and scholarships can drastically change the affordability of some colleges. It is not unusual for an expensive private colleges to offer prospective students enough financial support to make the cost comparable to, or sometimes cheaper, than public colleges or universities.

My advice to you is to not rule out a college or university early in your college search because it seems expensive. Often, if you go through the process and and are admitted and offered financial aid or scholarship, you may be surprised at how affordable it could be.

A good place to start is to check out the Net Price Calculator on a college's website. Every college in the U.S. is required to have one somewhere. In just a few minutes, the net price calculator can give you at least an estimate of your financial aid eligibility.
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