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Total cost for 4 years of college

How much does it cost to go to college for 4 years (including tuition, living expenses, etc.)?

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Fred’s Answer

That's not a simple question. Colleges all have different tuition rates, room and board rates, and so on. State schools tend to be less expensive than private schools. If you take a few years at a community college, it can be even cheaper. The location of the school can have an impact based on the cost of living there. Will you need a car or transportation?

Now factor in scholarships and grants. Each school will offer you a different package of financial aid. If you get loans, the interest rate will make a difference on how much you have to pay back.

Most school's websites will have information on average costs, scholarships, grants, etc. and give you an idea of what your debt will be at the end of the four years. I'd suggest you go to a few schools you are interested in and see what they say.
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Sophie’s Answer

Here are a few tips for thinking about the cost of college:

(1) Do not only focus on the costs, but also the benefits. Minimizing cost alone would lead you to give up the chance to increase your earning potential. Get information about the schools you are considering about the rates at which their graduates go one to employment in their target careers. Research alumni salary data. Sometimes schools will provide this information directly. There are also sometimes online sources.

(2) Do research on what your *personalized* college costs would be. Higher education has famously confusing pricing due to the use of sliding scale tuition, grants and scholarships, in-state vs. out-of-state-pricing, and other factors. The U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) office provides a tool to estimate aid such as grants here: https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/. The Department of Education also has schools public "net price calculators" that allow you to get a personalized online cost estimate. To find a net price calculator, search the college's website or go to https://collegecost.ed.gov/net-price to search for specific colleges.

(3) Think carefully about the costs and benefits not just of your college, but also the specific field of study. There is a wide gap between the typical potential earnings for graduates of different majors. Research the compensation impacts of different majors before you commit.

(4) Make sure you consider public and nonprofit options. For-profit schools may be the first you encounter due to their proactive marketing. but make sure you compare them with public and nonprofit options, which often offer the most value for money and might even be free.

(5) Inform yourself before taking on loans. For most people, federal student loans will be better options than private loans, in large part due to their generous relief options down the line for those with temporary economic hardship or long-term challenges affording their debt. But don't be misled by the confusing term "aid" that covers both grants and loans - federal loans still come with a price tag in the form of interest. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau publishes high quality resources for better understanding what it means to finance your college degree with debt: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/student-loans/.
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Krista’s Answer

Based on the current debt load students are carrying today, I'd recommend beginning your collegiate journey at a community college. College costs vary widely depending on the state where you live and how much state assistance is given to in-state students. Write down the costs of tuition, room and board, books and additional items after researching which college best fits your budget. Good luck!
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Atul’s Answer

It depends upon where you get the admission - private, state or Ivy League school.
State Univ are highly subsidized and they will cost you the least. Each state varies in the tuition and other expenses.
Check out the state univ website to know how much it cost. It is detailed and most state univ can give you credits for the AP courses you have taken in the high school and if your 4-year cumulative GPA is above 3.5 - state will also give you partial or full scholarship.
Your essay and the subject you write about weighs a lot.
You can also consider 2-yr at a community college and transfer to the state univ provided the state univ accepts those credits. You will need to do homework here to find out what is transferable.
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Baljit’s Answer

Hi David,
It all depends on your financial aid package that you receive. It also depends on the school that you attend. Check out the statistics of each school you apply for as far as expenditure on tuition, housing, books, food, etc. Each school is different. Also you might want to take out a loan dependent on what you are offered for your financial aid to each school you applied to.

There might also be a TAG program at the schools you apply to. TAG is where you take classes at a community college and you will be guaranteed a place at the school that you originally applied to at the end of the community college classes. The program might be called something different at some of the schools. I know that UC Davis has this program.

Also apply for scholarships. This would help at a great deal.
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