The Average Cost of a U.S. College Education

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


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.