Everyone hears that college costs are rising. Although a four-year college degree is more valuable than ever, paying for that degree is getting more expensive. According to US News and World Reports, the average tuition and fees at private national universities has risen 154% in the last twenty years. What is even more shocking is that in-state tuition and fees at public national universities has jumped by 221%.
Before your family creates your paying-for-college plan, understand a few college costs key terms and the differences by college and state.
Many refer to the sticker price of college that is the fully loaded retail price of every component of college costs. Many schools refer to the sticker price as their cost of attendance. This includes tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and loan fees.
Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions
The College Board reported that the average sticker price for Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions is $49,870 in 2019-20. That is almost $17,000 more than it was 20 years ago. The good news is that the average net price to attend in 2019-20 is lower at $27,370.
Public Four-Year Institutions
In contrast to these private institutions, Public Four-Year Institutions have a lower sticker price. In 2019-20, the average in-state sticker price is $21,950, which was about $9,500 more than in 1999-2000. The average student is paying a net price of $15,380 in 2019-20.
Just be aware that college costs by state still vary dramatically. When the College Board assessed the five-year percentage change of just tuition and fees for in state, national the percentage change was six percent. However, the percentage varied from a 12 percent decrease in Washington to a 25 percent increase in Alaska.
|State||2019-20 In-State Tuition and Fees||2019-20 Out-of-State Tuition and Fees||Five-Year % Change|
Understanding My College Costs
In order to better understand not just one year of college costs but all four years, we suggest calculating your college costs using Quatro’s Paying for College Calculator. You can select the average net price or income-based net price for over 1,000 colleges. Plus, you can see how far your college savings to date and cash contributions from income will stretch to pay these costs. If they are not enough, quickly compare parent and student financing options to fill any gap.
Colleen MacDonald Krumwiede is a financial aid and paying for college expert with over a decade of financial aid experience at Stanford GSB, Caltech, and Pomona College and another decade at educational finance and technology companies servicing higher education. She guides go-to-market strategy and product development at Quatromoney to transform the way families afford college.