Chart: What Does College Cost in 2014-15

Feb 03, 2015
Paying for College, Question of the Day, Budgeting, Chart of the Week

Descriptive chart showing the cost of college from a community college to a four-year private university broken out by tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and other expenses:


Important discussion points:

  • These are “sticker prices” for colleges; like many consumer goods, colleges discount, so one should focus more on “net costs (which account for financial aid)” vs. “sticker price.”
  • Regardless of what type of school you attend you will have significant living expenses (room and board), roughly $8,000 to $11,000 per year.
  • Plan on spending at least $1,000 on books; be sure to search out other low-cost alternatives.
  • Ask the students what the approximately $2,000 in “Other Expenses” might be.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.