Average costs of college, how much money do you really need?

College is expensive. The amount you pay has so many factors, including where you go to college, how long you go to college, and if you have any student financial aid. Without adding student financial aid to the mix, the costs of going to school can vary from $8000 per year to $46,000 per year based on the college, the location, room and board, and what you are deciding to do during that time period such as pursuing an associate’s versus a bachelor’s. The cost of college has increased by 150% over the past two decades. It is also getting harder to get into college.

The average basic high school senior will want to head to college for four years and graduate with a degree that earns a living. That person will pay a lot over those four years. There are a few items to consider. Where they go to college if it’s in-state or out-of-state, if it’s a public school or private school, and will they use the college room and board packages

Cost of a four-year degree at a public university in-state:

On average, in-state tuition for a public university for four years is around $9000. Some states are less, and some states are more. Virginia and New Hampshire have the most expensive options for a four-year, in-state, public school. The lowest cost is the District of Columbia for a four-year, in-state degree.

Cost of a four-year degree at a public university out of state:

Out-of-state tuition fees are always a lot larger than in-state fees. The average cost is $26,000 for most states for a four-year, out-of-state degree. Some higher costing states are Vermont at $39,000 and Michigan at $36.000.

Cost of a four-year degree at a private university:

The average cost in the United States is $31,000 for a private university. Massachusetts is at $46,000, Vermont is at $44,000, and the District of Columbia is $43,000. There are many low-cost private options, including Idaho and Utah, around $7000.

Cost of a public two-year degree in-state:

There are many degrees that only take two years, and then there is always an option to do two years at a small college and then transfer to a larger college your junior year. This saves a great deal of money and is smart for many reasons.  The cost of this in-state is on average $3000 per year. The lowest cost option is in California and. The highest cost option is in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Cost of an Associates Degree:

Most associate degrees are earned in two years at a community college. The average cost of this is about $3,500 per year at a public institution. This can be much higher for a private intuition since the average is $14,000.

Room and Board:

Not only is there the actual cost of college but room and board are costly. If you go away to college, you will be paying room and board, especially that first year living on campus. Room and board are about $11,000 per year. This cost exceeds tuition in some states over a 9 month period and is about $1200 per month.

Room and board usually save you from buying meals since on-campus living often includes a meal plan. It also saves worrying about utilities like gas, water, electricity. You don’t have to add in the cost of the internet. You also save since you are on campus and don’t have to drive back and forth. The monthly cost, though, may be higher than local rental prices.

To help with these costs, you can always move off-campus and live in an apartment. If you find roommates to share the cost you can decrease your spending for room and board greatly. You may only be paying $500 per month on your room, groceries, gas, and utilities, saving you money for books as needed.

One of the smartest financial options is to live at your home, go to college at a community college (especially the first two years) and only spend the cost of tuition. Many people are choosing this option now because students are smart and practical.

The last option to save college costs is to find an associate’s degree in your field. You can easily get an associate’s in two years, live at home, and begin making money. If you want to move further in your education, you can obtain a bachelor’s or masters over time.