Basic Facts About College Prices and Student Aid
The American Council on Education and ACE are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education and are used with permission.
- For the 2002-03 academic year, average tuition charges for full-time undergraduates, before student aid was deducted, were:
Public Community College (two-year, AA-granting) $1,735 Public University (four-year, BA-granting)* $4,081 Private College or University (four-year, BA-granting) $18,273
- Almost 70 percent of full-time undergraduates who attend four-year colleges face tuition charges, before student aid, of less than $8,000. About 38 percent attend institutions that charge less than $4,000, before student aid. Only 7 percent attend institutions with tuition (before aid) of $24,000 or more.
Total Annual Student Budget
- Both price and student aid differ substantially based on the type of institution one attends. In 1999-2000, the most recent year for which data are available, the average annual student budgets for full-time students, before any aid was deducted, and after deducting grants and all aid, for various types of institutions, were:
Before Aid Less Grants Less All Aid Public Community College (two-year, AA-granting) $9,109 $7,810 $7,095 Public University (four-year, BA-granting)* $12,624 $10,595 $8,167 Private College or University (four-year, BA-granting) $23,700 $17,386 $13,059 * This figure is for in-state students. Tuition charges for out-of-state residents typically are higher.
- Students who choose to live on campus pay room and board fees, in addition to tuition, that range from $5,300 to $6,700, on average. At four-year colleges, about 25 percent of undergraduates live on campus. The expenses of students who live on their own off campus, or with their parents, will differ depending on their living situation, personal circumstances, and the local cost of living. Annual costs for books and supplies range from $727 to $807, on average. There also may be special fees for laboratory or computer use, for example. Colleges include all of these expenses (tuition, room and board, transportation, books, fees, etc.) in a student budget, which campus student aid officers use when making student aid award determinations.
- After student aid is deducted, the total annual budget for two-thirds of full-time students is under $10,000. For about one-third of undergraduates, the annual budget is less than $5,000.
Reprinted with the permission of the American Council on Education. © 2008 American Council on Education.
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