How Much Does College Cost (A Realistic Estimate)  header image

How Much Does College Cost (A Realistic Estimate)

How much does college cost 

If you’ve got a high school senior who will don a cap and gown come spring, you might be wondering how much college costs over the course of four years. We took a look at tuition trends across the nation to give you a better picture. Figures are according to a recent College Board report.

Factoring in student aid

When analyzing actual student expense, we must look at net price, which is the cost after aid. The average full-time four-year college student attending a public in-state university, for example, receives approximately $5,500 in grant aid, federal tax credits and deductions. That covers just over half of the published tuition fees for attending higher education.

Net tuition, fees, room and board

Now let’s take a look at average out-of-pocket expenses and aid across various sectors. The following figures represent average prices for the 2017-18 school year.

Students attending a two-year college and planning to commute rather than live on campus, paid an average of $8,070 out of pocket after receiving an average $3,900 in grant aid and tax benefits.

Students attending and living at a public four-year institution paid an average of $14,940 out of pocket after receiving an average $5,830 in grant aid and tax benefits.

Students attending and living at a private nonprofit four-year institution paid an average of $28,740 out of pocket after receiving an average $20,210 in grant aid and tax benefits.

How much will tuition, fees, room and board increase over time?

Trends show that the average published cost (before aid) of tuition, fees, and room and board remains rather steady, with a less than 2 percent increase per year across all sectors, after adjusting for inflation. Unfortunately, the amount of grant aid and tax benefits is decreasing, so students will pay more out of pocket each year. Plan yearly for a possible 2.8 percent increase in net price at a public two-year college, a 3.2 percent increase at a public four-year institution and a 2.4 percent increase at a private nonprofit four-year college or university.  

What much do college books and supplies actually cost?

The supplies and books a student will need depend on choice of major and many other factors. However, students should budget $1,200 to $1,500 per year. Buy used if possible to save $20 to $30 per textbook, according to the National Association of College Stores.

 

Congratulations and best of luck to those who are college-bound in 2018! Saving for college often takes planning. Your Farm Bureau agent is here to help with all of your college saving and planning needs.

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