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    Average Cost of College in the U.S.

    By Cece Gilmore

    Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: July 9th, 2024
    Average Cost of College in the U.S.

    The cost of higher education depends on factors such as whether the institution is public or private, the state the institution is located in, scholarships a student may receive and other determining factors. Understanding the cost of education based on these factors will provide transparency to students and families looking to fund a higher education journey and make informed decisions about education and financial planning

    Please note that the data shared in this article was sourced from the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics

    Cost of Attendance (COA) vs. Net Price of Attendance

    Cost of Attendance (COA) defined

    The cost of attendance, or COA, is the estimated cost of attending college for an entire academic year. COA includes tuition and required fees, books, supplies, and the average cost for room and board. The cost of attendance is sometimes referred to as the “Sticker Price” before the application of  financial aid, grants, or scholarships.

    Annual Net Price of Attendance defined

    After the tuition and required fees, books, supplies, and the average cost for room and board (the COA as described above) are calculated, financial aid, grants, and scholarships are then deducted. That number is the “Net Price of Attendance.” If the number is above zero, it is usually paid for through loans or savings.  Students can get a rough estimate of what that number might look like by using a net price calculator.

    Annual Net Price of Attendance

    Four-year Institutions

    The chart below shows the average net price of attendance (total cost minus grant and scholarship aid) for first-time full-time undergraduate students attending 4-year institutions (for the academic year of 2021-22).

    Type of Institution Student Living Situation
      On campus Off campus (living with family) Off campus (not living with family) 
    Public $26,027 $15,552 $26,756
    Private nonprofit $55,840 $43,945 $56,054
    Private for-profit $32,895 $23,391 $31,909

    Two-year Institutions 

    The chart below shows the average net price of attendance (total cost minus grant and scholarship aid) for first-time full-time undergraduate students attending 2-year institutions (for the academic year of 2021-22) 

    Type of Institution Student Living Situation
      On campus Off campus (living with family) Off campus (not living with family) 
    Public $16,090 $9,845 $20,091
    Private nonprofit $33,007 $23,686 $33,560
    Private for-profit $27,214 $21,395 $31,370

    Average tuition and fees by year and total degree cost

    The information below breaks down the cost solely of tuition and fees for first-time undergraduate students. No other expenses (such as room and board, books, living expenses, etc.)  are included. 

    Public colleges and universities

    The chart below shows the average tuition and fees of institutions for first-time, full-time undergraduate students 

    Type of institution Average tuition and fees for 2021-2022 Average total cost of degree
    2-year institutions $3,970 $7,940
    4-year institutions  $9,678 $38,712

    Private colleges and universities

    The chart below shows the average tuition and fees of institutions for first-time, full-time undergraduate students 

    Type of institution Average tuition and fees for 2021-2022 Average total cost of degree
    2-year institutions $16,686 $33,372
    4-year institutions  $28,296 $113,184

    Private nonprofit colleges and universities

    The chart below shows the average tuition and fees of institutions for first-time, full-time undergraduate students 

    Type of institution Average tuition and fees for 2021-2022 Average total cost of degree
    2-year institutions $17,735 $35,470
    4-year institutions  $38,768 $155,072

    Private for-profit colleges and universities

    Type of institution Average tuition and fees for 2021-2022 Average total cost of degree
    2-year institutions $15,637 $31,274
    4-year institutions  $17,825 $71,300

    Amount of grant and scholarship aid awarded based on family income

    Public 4-year institutions 

    At public 4-year institutions in 2020-21, there was a trend that the lower the income group the student is from the greater the average amount of grant and scholarship aid awarded to first-time, full-time undergraduate students paying in-state tuition. Make sure to check out our free scholarship search resource to help increase the amount of scholarship funds you will receive! 

    Family Income Average amount of grant and scholarship aid at 4-year institutions 
    $0 – $30,000 $13,200
    $30,001 – $48,000 $12,700
    $48,001 – $75,000 $9,500
    $75,001 – $110,000 $5,400
    $110,001 +  $3,300

    Private nonprofit 4-year institutions

    In contrast to public 4-year institutions, private nonprofit 4-year institutions did not follow the same trend regarding decreasing scholarship for higher income families. Rather, the most scholarship aid was awarded to those with a familial income between $30,001 and $75,000.  

    Family Income Average amount of grant and scholarship aid at 4-year institutions 
    $0 – $30,000 $30,100
    $30,001 – $48,000 $33,600
    $48,001 – $75,000 $32,100
    $75,001 – $110,000 $28,500
    $110,001 +  $24,000

    Undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board cost by state

    This list is the average undergraduate tuition and fees, room and board charges for full-time students in public and private 4-year institutions for the academic year of 2021-22 separated by state. The totals do not include books, transportation, or living expenses. 

    Alabama 

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $10,737 $27,145 $17,168
    Room $6,019 $6,019 $5,469
    Board $4,692 $4,692 $5,197
    Total $21,448 $37,856 $27,835

    Alaska 

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,851 $25,414 $19,883
    Room $6,450 $6,450 $4,161
    Board $6,762 $6,762 $4,384
    Total $22,063 $38,626 $28,427

    Arizona

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $11,452 $26,025 $13,272
    Room $7,798 $7,798 $5,684
    Board $5,645 $5,645 $4,294
    Total $24,896 $39,468 $23,249

    Arkansas

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,622 $21,981 $24,128
    Room $5,927 $5,927 $4,589
    Board $4,254 $4,254 $4,318
    Total $18,803 $32,162 $33,035

    California 

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,559 $34,454 $39,068
    Room $8,945 $8,945 $8,851
    Board $6,846 $6,846 $6,877
    Total $24,349 $50,245 $54,795

    Colorado 

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,573 $31,699 $26,784
    Room $6,867 $6,867 $8,250
    Board $6,620 $6,620 $5,758
    Total $23,061 $45,186 $40,791

    Connecticut

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $14,963 $37,414 $44,376
    Room $7,606 $7,606 $9,253
    Board $6,247 $6,247 $6,779
    Total $28,816 $51,267 $60,408

    Delaware

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $11,707 $32,419 $11,905
    Room $8,173 $8,173 $7,400
    Board $5,592 $5,592 $5,053
    Total $25,472 $46,184 $24,358

    District of Columbia

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $6,152 $13,004 $45,528
    Room N/A N/A $10,954
    Board N/A N/A $6,233
    Total $6,152 $13,004 $62,714

    Florida

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $4,613 $18,344 $29,605
    Room $6,515 $6,515 $7,608
    Board $4,682 $4,682  $5,927
    Total $15,810 $29,541 $43,140

    Georgia

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $7,632 $23,345 $31,335
    Room $6,977 $6,977 $7,843
    Board $4,448 $4,448 $5,668
    Total $19,057 $34,770 $44,846

    Hawaii

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $10,356 $32,043 $20,252
    Room $5,890 $5,890 $6,622
    Board $6,018 $6,018 $7,058
    Total $22,264 $43,951 $33,933

    Idaho

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $7,478 $24,754 $6,716
    Room $5,040 $5,040 $3,105
    Board $4,757 $4,757 $6,142
    Total $17,275 $34,551 $15,963

    Illinois

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $14,993 $29,350 $36,637
    Room $6,426 $6,426 $8,139
    Board $5,574 $5,574 $5,863
    Total $26,993 $41,350 $50,638

    Indiana

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,780 $29,269 $36,763
    Room $5,895 $5,895 $6,778
    Board $5,414 $5,414 $6,312
    Total $21,090 $40,578 $49,853

    Iowa

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,670 $28,257 $36,659
    Room $5,032 $5,032 $5,165
    Board $5,386 $5,386 $5,326
    Total $20,088 $38,675 $47,150

    Kansas

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,216 $23,967 $27,141
    Room $5,436 $5,436 $4,993
    Board $4,752 $4,752 $5,170
    Total $19,405 $34,155 $37,304

    Kentucky

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $11,107 $25,325 $27,553
    Room $6,975 $6,975 $4,708
    Board $4,493 $4,493 $4,758
    Total $22,575 $36,793 $37,019

    Louisiana

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,749 $23,395 $42,892
    Room $6,377 $6,377 $7,915
    Board $4,496 $4,496 $6,527
    Total $20,622 $34,268 $57,334

    Maine

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $10,650 $30,099 $40,163
    Room $5,593 $5,593 $7,130
    Board $4,883 $4,883 $7,319
    Total $21,126 $40,575 $54,613

    Maryland

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,851 $27,111 $47,092
    Room $7,533 $7,533 $8,731
    Board $5,624 $5,624 $6,494
    Total $23,008 $40,268 $62,317

    Massachusetts

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $14,023 $32,291 $50,820
    Room $8,754 $8,754 $10,018
    Board $5,795 $5,795 $7,116
    Total $28,572 $46,840 $67,953

    Michigan

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $14,116 $40,004 $32,292
    Room $5,648 $5,648 $5,602
    Board $5,699 $5,699 $5,411
    Total $25,463 $51,351 $43,305

    Minnesota

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $12,345 $25,238 $34,771
    Room $6,262 $6,262 $6,216
    Board $4,385 $4,385 $5,299
    Total $22,992 $35,885 $46,286

    Mississippi

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,930 $20,848 $19,603
    Room $6,141 $6,141 $4,765
    Board $4,694 $4,694 $4,345
    Total $19,765 $31,683 $28,712

    Missouri

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,944 $22,812 $28,965
    Room $6,321 $6,321 $6,907
    Board $4,270 $4,270 $4,629
    Total $20,534 $33,403 $40,501

    Montana

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $7,097 $27,435 $32,954
    Room $4,659 $4,659 $4,844
    Board $5,536 $5,536 $5,111
    Total $17,292 $37,630 $42,910

    Nebraska

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,763 $21,953 $26,368
    Room $6,166 $6,166 $5,609
    Board $4,921 $4,921 $5,308
    Total $19,851 $33,040 $37,285

    Nevada

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $6,564 $23,550 $23,896
    Room $5,818 $5,818 $6,946
    Board $5,912 $5,912 $7,241
    Total $18,293 $35,280 $38,083

    New Hampshire

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $16,846 $32,035 $19,786
    Room $7,711 $7,711 $8,289
    Board $4,824 $4,824 $5,121
    Total $29,381 $44,570 $33,197

    New Jersey

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $14,861 $29,681 $39,094
    Room $8,624 $8,624 $8,559
    Board $5,149 $5,149 $6,064
    Total $28,633 $43,454 $53,717

    New Mexico

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $7,311 $21,952 $25,712
    Room $5,368 $5,368 $6,073
    Board $4,837 $4,837 $5,416
    Total $17,516 $32,157 $37,201

    New York

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,541                                    $20,304 $44,149
    Room $10,533 $10,533 $9,878
    Board $6,009 $6,009 $6,650
    Total $25,082 $36,846 $60,677

    North Carolina

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $7,337 $23,452 $38,346
    Room $6,280 $6,280 $7,058
    Board $4,648 $4,648 $6,463
    Total $18,264 $34,380 $51,868

    North Dakota

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,364 $13,973 $16,979
    Room $4,035 $4,035 $3,513
    Board $4,963 $4,963 $4,408
    Total $18,362 $22,971 $24,900

    Ohio

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $10,456 $26,881 $36,136
    Room $7,119 $7,119 $6,623
    Board $5,977 $5,977 $5,856
    Total $23,552 $39,977 $48,614

    Oklahoma

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,291 $22,125 $30,175
    Room $5,056 $5,056 $4,994
    Board $4,562 $4,562 $4,966
    Total $17,909 $31,743 $40,136

    Oregon

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $11,871 $34,292 $45,571
    Room $8,051 $8,051 $8,047
    Board $5,475 $5,475 $6,420
    Total $25,397 $47,818 $60,038

    Pennsylvania

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $14,920 $26,426 $45,406
    Room $7,343 $7,343 $8,221
    Board $5,073 $5,073 $6,591
    Total $27,336 $38,842 $60,218

    Rhode Island

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $14,172 $32,910 $47,522
    Room $8,103 $8,103 $9,867
    Board $5,598 $5,598 $6,635
    Total $27,872 $46,611 $64,025

    South Carolina

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $12,605 $33,217 $27,840
    Room $6,802 $6,802 $5,271
    Board $4,193 $4,193 $5,367
    Total $23,600 $44,212 $38,477

    South Dakota

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $9,131 $13,194 $27,493
    Room $4,068 $4,068 $4,202
    Board $4,259 $4,259 $4,450
    Total $17,459 $21,521 $36,145

    Tennessee

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $10,397 $24,381 $30,734
    Room $5,394 $5,394 $6,534
    Board $5,270 $5,270 $5,499
    Total $21,061 $35,045 $42,767

    Texas

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,185 $25,419 $38,807
    Room $5,862 $5,862 $6,904
    Board $4,760 $4,760 $5,526
    Total $18,807 $36,041 $51,236

    Utah

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $7,115 $22,244 $7,613
    Room $3,961 $3,961 $4,221
    Board $4,210 $4,210 $4,170
    Total $15,286 $30,415 $16,003

    Vermont

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $17,683 $41,914 $48,968
    Room $8,427 $8,427 $8,563
    Board $4,811 $4,811 $6,743
    Total $30,921 $55,152 $64,274

    Virginia

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $14,273 $36,674 $23,878
    Room $6,763 $6,763 $6,334
    Board $5,471 $5,471 $5,530
    Total $26,507 $48,908 $35,742

    Washington

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $7,842 $31,410 $40,839
    Room $7,105 $7,105 $7,041
    Board $6,769 $6,769 $5,976
    Total $21,715 $45,284 $53,857

    West Virginia

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,451 $22,915 $12,115
    Room $5,917 $5,917 $4,792
    Board $5,643 $5,643 $5,329
    Total $20,011 $34,475 $22,236

    Wisconsin

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $8,905 $27,024 $36,680
    Room $5,734 $5,734 $6,571
    Board $3,656 $3,656 $5,409
    Total $18,295 $36,414 $48,660

    Wyoming

      Public 4-year In-State Public 4-year Out-of-State Private 4-year
    Tuition and fees $4,929 $14,669 N/A
    Room $4,523 $4,523 N/A
    Board $5,182 $5,182 N/A
    Total $14,634 $24,374 N/A

    Notable statistics from the average tuition and fees, room, and board cost by state

    • The most expensive public 4-year in-state was Vermont with an average total COA of $30,921 while the least expensive public 4-year in-state was Wyoming with an average total COA of $14,634 (DC was not selected as there was only information regarding it’s tuition and fee total rather than COA) 
    • The most expensive public 4-year out-of-state was Vermont with an average total COA of $55,152 while the least expensive public 4-year out-of-state was South Dakota with an average total COA of $21,521 (DC was not selected as there was only information regarding it’s tuition and fee total rather than COA) 
    • The most expensive private 4-year was Michigan with an average total COA of $67,953 while the least expensive private 4-year was Idaho with an average total COA of $15,963
    • In Arizona, Delaware and Idaho the COA for public 4-year in-state institutions was more expensive than the COA for private 4-year institutions 
    • In both Utah and West Virginia there is only a $1,000-$2,000 difference between the COA of public and private institutions 

    Most affordable colleges and universities by state

    This list was compiled by ranking four-year in-person institutions based on net price and average student debt. The schools with the lowest costs and debt levels were selected and then institutions with a graduation rate below the national average were eliminated. All data was pulled from our own “Top Colleges for Affordability” rankings.

    State Most  Affordable College
    Alabama University  of Alabama at Birmingham 
    Alaska University  of Alaska-Southeast
    Arizona Prescott  College
    Arkansas University  of Arkansas-Fort Smith
    California California  State University – Los Angeles 
    Colorado Fort  Lewis College
    Connecticut Yale  University
    Delaware Goldey-Beacom  College
    Florida Palm  Beach State College
    Georgia East  Georgia State College
    Hawaii Brigham  Young University – Hawaii
    Idaho Brigham  Young University – Idaho
    Illinois University  of Illinois at Chicago
    Indiana Indiana  University – Kokomo
    Iowa Emmaus  Bible College 
    Kansas Washburn  University
    Kentucky Berea  College
    Louisiana Louisiana  State University – Alexandria
    Maine University  of Maine – Presque Isle
    Maryland Johns  Hopkins University 
    Massachusetts Massachusetts  Institute of Technology (MIT) 
    Michigan Ferris  State University
    Minnesota University  of Minnesota – Morris
    Mississippi Mississippi  University for Women
    Missouri Missouri  Southern State University 
    Montana Montana  State University – Northern
    Nebraska University  of Nebraska at Omaha
    Nevada Western  Nevada College
    New Hampshire Southern  New Hampshire University
    New Jersey Princeton  University
    New Mexico Northern  New Mexico College
    New York CUNY  Queens College
    North Carolina Elizabeth  City State University 
    North Dakota Bismarck  State College
    Ohio Ohio  State University – Main Campus
    Oklahoma Oklahoma  Panhandle State University
    Oregon Portland  State University
    Pennsylvania University  of Pennsylvania
    Rhode Island Rhode  Island College
    South Carolina University  of South Carolina – Upstate
    South Dakota South  Dakota State University
    Tennessee Tennessee  Technological University
    Texas The  University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    Utah Brigham  Young University
    Vermont Vermont  Technical College
    Virginia University  of Virginia’s College at Wise
    Washington University  of Washington-Bothell Campus 
    West Virginia Concord  University
    Wisconsin University  of Wisconsin – Green Bay
    Wyoming University  of Wyoming 

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