The Average Cost of a U.S. College Education

A comparative look at the average annual cost of public vs. private higher education.

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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the difference between tuition and the net cost less financial aid at public two-year colleges is not that significant, relatively speaking: roughly a few thousand dollars. But looking at private nonprofit four-year schools, that figure jumps dramatically, to almost $20,000. The average annual tuition (plus expenses) at a private nonprofit four-year college is about $35,000. Click around below to see how the numbers stack up.