Find the average total cost of U.S. colleges and universities at College Scorecard. You can search for schools by school name, program or degree, location, or school size. You'll find a wealth of useful information to help you compare schools and figure out the best investment for you. On the website, look for the following information by school:
- Total average costs
- Graduation rates
- Average salaries of students 10 years after enrolling
- Typical debt amounts for students
- Typical monthly debt payment of students
- And much more!
Once you know the average cost of your class, program, or school, make sure you understand what's included and what might be additional expenses. See this list of typical college expenses beyond tuition and fees.
Books and other supplies. Ask an advisor or instructor at your school or program to estimate how much you will need to spend on books and materials for each class you plan to take.
Transportation. Don’t forget to include any additional expenses that you will need to get to and from your class or training program, such as gas, bus fare or parking fees.
Room and board (if living at college or relocating). If you’re planning to live on campus, you should be able to find a good estimate of these expenses on the college website. If you’re planning to relocate, you may want to compare living costs in your current and new location; Google “cost of living calculator” to find a tool that can provide this comparison.
Your time. The time you spend in class, in unpaid training, or studying is also an education cost—especially if you’re already working and taking time off to upgrade your skills or get a degree. A basic rule of thumb is that you should expect to spend approximately two to three hours studying for each hour of time in class. Add to that any travel time to and from school. Then use your typical hourly wage to estimate the cost of your learning time.