What College Really Costs

By February 15, 2019 College Planning

The short answer is – a lot, even at public universities. Currently, the average annual cost to attend a public university is $25,830 for in-state students and $41,980 for out-of-state. Those figures include:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal expenses and transportation

The costs to attend a private university are even higher, at $73,139. College costs have been rising by 5% each year, on average, over the last thirty years. That’s faster than inflation (2.5%) and there’s no reason to expect this rate to decelerate.  This means that parents of an eight year old are looking at a four-year college bill like this:

  Four Year Cost to Attend

2028

Public University, In-state student $186,880
Public University, Out-of-state student  303,074
Private University $502,669

Parents ask me, how much they should be saving each year in the hopes of being able to fully fund their child’s education? And – reality check – how much should those parents of an eight year old have saved by now?

  Annual Savings from Birth Accumulated  College Savings
Public University, In-state student $8,100 $79,232
Public University, Out-of-state student 12,900 126,185
Private University $21,600 $211,286

Yikes! Those are big, scary numbers for sure. But take heart. All but the wealthiest among us pay the full “sticker price” for college. I’ll explain the how and why in my next post.

Eileen McPeake

Author Eileen McPeake

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