College Costs And Options Vary Widely And Can Factor Into Future Success
By Tyng Kam, Stride Success Coach
There are so many considerations when it comes to searching for, and choosing, the right college. One of the most important factors is college tuition. Often, tuition can be the deciding factor when choosing between two or more colleges. In this article, we will be breaking down the different components to consider, when looking at the cost of tuition.
Tuition is, in fact, the largest cost of attending college. Fees often vary depending on the college, your degree program, and other courses that you may choose to take. You can typically find the tuition cost on your college’s website.
There are several types of colleges, within categories, when reviewing tuition costs. These types/categories are:
· 2-year colleges
· 4-year colleges
· Public colleges
· Private colleges
· In-state schools
· Out-of-state schools
All of the above will have varying tuition costs, and some colleges also have what is called “differential tuition,” which is based on field of study, the market value of your degree, student demand, and cost of instruction. For example, some colleges may use this model because technology, labs/research, and additional materials may be needed for a particular field of study… which will refer to your total tuition, or may be the supplementary amount, added to your base tuition rate.
Do not be alarmed when you find the “sticker price” while conducting your research. The proverbial sticker price is only the colleges’ published price for attending their school, but it will not be what you will ultimately pay. There are many scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and loans that are available to all students, to help offset the cost of tuition. Financial aid is also available for those that qualify.
Your “net price” is the price you will pay after grants, scholarships, and financial aid is subtracted from the published price. The net price is the final amount a family is expected to pay, and it is often lower than the published price of the college. Every college that is participating in federal financial aid programs is required by law to have a net price calculator for families to use. Some colleges will have this calculator located on their website or will use a federal template.
Understanding that tuition and fees vary from college to college will help you to better understand your options. Below is the average cost of tuition and fees per annual cycle, according to data collected in the College Board’s Annual Survey, “Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021” …
· Private nonprofit 4-year: $38,070
· Public 4-year out-of-state: $27,560
· Public 4-year in-state: $10,740
· Public 2-year in district: $3,800
Remember that these are averages and vary from state to state, and from college to college. What is important to remember is your return on investment, also known as “ROI.” Think of what the college offers as far as majors, courses, professors, internships, connections to employers, and post-graduate success. Look at their alumni engagement office, and where alumni have gone on to work after graduation. All of these are important factors for building your future, when investing your time, energy, and money.
Always keep in mind that, yes, college tuitions will vary, and do not be shocked by the sticker price! Your net price is what you should consistently focus on, as you consider schools, along with the return on investment when it comes to your future success!
Interested in learning more before choosing a college? Be sure to check out the podcast, “A College Recruiter Discusses How To Help Teens Take A Step Forward On The Path to Their College And Career Dreams!”
Feel like you need some more guidance in getting started on your college planning and/or career prep? Make sure you read How To Find A High School Career Coach, as well!
Ready to get an active jump-start on your career plans and college admissions? Make sure you check out Stride Success Coaching: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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