College Costs

The cost of college in the United States has been rising steadily. Recently released reports from the College Board suggest most students and their families can expect to pay, on average, from $172 to $1,096 more than last year for this year's tuition and fees, depending on the type of college.

While that is true, funding options have never been greater and the Obama government has made a commitment to education which has been backed by nearly 2 billion dollars in federal funding.

The average cost for a year of education in 2010 is estimated to be around $7000 per student in the public education system, or $26000 for private education. This represents an increase of 6.5% in public education and 4% in private.

While this sounds somewhat ominous other fee figures are more heartening;

  • About 19 percent of students enrolled in private four-year colleges attend institutions that charge tuition and fees below $18,000
  • 32 percent of full-time students enrolled in public four-year colleges and universities attend institutions that charge tuition and fees between $3,000 and $6,000
  • While private four-year institutions have a much wider range of tuition and fee charges, only about 20 percent of all students attend colleges with tuition and fees totalling $36,000 or higher per year
  • 31 percent of all full-time students attend public two-year colleges and pay significantly less than the average for their education.

Other costs that students can expect to pay more for this year are room and board. Students will pay, on average, from $377 to $420 more than last year for this year's room and board, depending on the type of college and accommodation.

The average surcharge for full-time out-of-state students, at public four-year institutions is $11,528. That is in addition to standard fees and other costs.

*Statistics taken from http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/add-it-up/4494.html

For an interesting overview of what college may cost you, CNN have a college cost calculator on-line at http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/collegecost/collegecost.jsp. Collegeboard have a similar calculator available on-line at http://apps.collegeboard.com/fincalc/college_cost.jsp. Check out both calculators and compare the results!

Last year over two thirds of college students received funding for tuition fees, books, room, board and other living expenses. So although fees are going up, this is not a prohibitive factor to a student receiving an education.

Tamar Lewin of the New York Times disagrees in the article dated October 20, 2009 Tamar states,

“Given the financial hardship of the country, it’s simply astonishing that colleges and universities would have this kind of increases,” Mr. Callan said. “It tells you that higher education is still a seller’s market. The level of debt we’re asking people to undertake is unsustainable.

“A lot of people think we can solve the problem with more financial aid, but I think we have to have some cost containment. For all the talk about reinventing higher education, I don’t see any results.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/education/21costs.html

The Cost of Education Facts

According the estimates in 2010 it will cost a college school student at a local institution the following, for a full year of living and studying: Private four-year $26,273 (up 4.4 percent from last year)

Public four-year $7,020 (up 6.5 percent from last year)

With room and board, the average total cost of attendance at a public four-year college is now $15,213

Public two-year $2,544 (up 7.3 percent from last year)

Average, from $377 to $420 more than last year, for this year's room and board, depending on the type of college.

Despite this pessimistic outlook, colleges will tell you that the level of increases is necessary due to rising costs. Also, despite the dire figures, student aid has risen proportionately to the increases in fees, so that students are not necessary in a different situation than they have been in the past. For the student, that is good news.