Paying for College: Community vs. Four-Year Colleges

FullSizeRender By Tara Carter

Tuition costs are a hot topic among current and prospective students across the country. For most, college costs can be the main deciding factor when choosing where to attend school.

Here lists the average yearly cost of tuition between two, and four year colleges:

  • Public Two-Year College: $3,440
  • Public Four-Year College for in-state Students: $9,410
  • Public Four-Year College for out-of-state Students: $23,890
  • Private Four-Year College: $32,410


Apart from tuition, two and four year colleges also differ when it comes to additional costs. For example, when attending a four-year college, expenses for room and board also come into play. Based on data collected by the 2015 – 2016 reports from The CollegeBoard, the average student will pay $10,138 for room and board at a public university, and $11,516 at a private four-year university.

Those who attend two-year colleges can avoid these costs, however extra costs for books and supplies average around the same amount. Between 2015-2016, these costs averaged at $1,298. This amount can vary depending on the type of class and number of credits one is taking throughout the academic year.

College can be expensive, but the good news is both two, and four-year colleges accept student loans based on a student’s FAFSA report. Based on information supplied by the Department of Education, financial aid amounts depend on the students expected family contribution, year in school, enrollment status, and the cost of attendance at the college the student is attending.[i]

For extra information on your financial aid status, students can contact their school’s financial aid office for any information not supplied by FAFSA.

Now that we’ve broken down the cost differences between two and four-year colleges, visit different school’s websites to see what may be of best interest for you. Happy learning!




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