The Price Tag of College Education in the US

College education

Because of the high cost of education, a college degree is a distant dream for many. Going to college means meeting a whole range of expenses from tuition, fees, and campus housing to food and other services. All these expenses add up to an overwhelming figure and make it daunting for many aspiring students to pursue their dream. Several surveys reveal that on average, the college budget for an in-state public college is around $26,000. However, at a private college, the cost nearly doubles up to $50,000. While this price tag may deter many students from pursuing a college degree, for some others it highlights the need for education financing. The popularity of student loans can be directly attributed to the ever-growing cost of education. 

Average Cost of Education at US Universities

A number of factors go into the cost of earning a college degree. While education financing may be your only means to pursue this goal, it’s important that you understand how this price tag adds up. Before you opt for a personal loan or explore student loans, here’s a detailed look at the different components of the cost of a college education:

1.Cost of tuition

This constitutes the amount you pay for the academic experience at your college. The college charges this amount for the instruction they provide. While the tuition at a public college for in-state residents is around $25,000, it could be double the amount for those coming from out of state.

2. Fees for other services

A college education is not just about paying for tuition. You may have to pay fees for other services such as campus transportation, library, and other facilities. However, most colleges combine these fees with the cost of tuition.

3. Food & housing

Depending on the campus, you will have additional costs for food and housing plans. According to the College Board, the average cost of room and board at public colleges is $10,800, whereas this may go up to $12,210 at private colleges. 

4. Cost of learning materials

Besides paying for tuition, housing, food, and other services, you also need to account for the cost of textbooks and other school supplies. On average, a college student spends about $1300 per year on books, lab safety gear, and other materials. 

5. Other personal expenses

Apart from what colleges charge, you also have to meet other expenses such as the costs of local transport, clothing, and entertainment. These may add up to an average of $3000 per year. This may seem negligible compared to other expenses. Nevertheless, they are an integral part of the total cost that you need to pay to get a college degree. 

It’s true that all these expenses add up to an overwhelming amount. And the cost is a primary factor that influences your decision about higher education. This is the reason why most university websites today include fees and financial aid calculators. This enables students to roughly estimate the cost they have to pay for a college degree; decide whether they should look for some form of education financing. Although the total cost of a college education may seem high, the opportunity that student loans present is something you should definitely consider.