Economics

College tuition costs, as well as room and board, are racing upward. Tuition and fees at community colleges are up 24 percent more than inflation over the past five years, according to a new College Board survey.  Despite all the grumbling about tuition increases and student loan costs, other college expenses are also going up.

 

The price of housing and food trumps tuition costs for students who attend two- and four-year public universities in their home states, according to a College Board survey. Even with lower interest rates on student loans students are eyeing bills that are growing on just about every line.

 

Here is a look at typical college students' budgets last year and how they're changing:

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

 

The public two-year schools charged in-state students an average $3,131 last year, up almost 6 percent from the previous year. While the tuition hike was larger than at other types of schools, students at community colleges saw the smallest increase in room and board costs — a 1 percent increase to $7,419. Total charges for students to attend an in-state public two-year school: $10,550.  Tuition and fees at community colleges are up 24 percent beyond overall inflation over the past five years, according to the College Board.  

PUBLIC FOUR-YEAR SCHOOLS

 

Tuition for students attending public four-year schools in their state was an average $8,655 last year, a 5 percent jump from the previous year. They paid more than that — $9,205 — for housing and food. These schools, like other four-year schools, posted a 4 percent jump in housing costs. Add in books and supplies, transportation and other costs and the total reaches $17,860 to attend an in-state public school, such as a student from Tallahassee attending Florida State University. When grants and scholarships are included, the average student pays $12,110 at such schools.

 

For students who choose to attend state schools outside their home state, the costs increase to $30,911. They pay the same $9,205 price tag for room and board, but the tuition rates are more expensive. The typical student who crossed state lines to attend a public college in 2012 paid $21,706 in tuition and fees after grants and scholarships — a 4 percent jump from the previous year.  Over the past five years, the tuition sticker price at public four-year colleges is up 27 percent beyond overall inflation.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

 

On the surface, private four-year schools are the most costly colleges, with the average student's sticker price coming in at $39,518 for all expenses. Tuition and fees were $29,056 last year — another 4 percent jump — while room and board ran to $10,462. After grants and scholarships, the average student paid $23,840 to attend schools such as Yale or Stanford.  The tuition at private schools was up 13 percent beyond overall inflation over the past five years adjusted for inflation.

 

When evaluating colleges, think about where you as a student would go if you were not involved in sports. Having that perspective is important. If a scholarship is not offered, where could you afford to attend university? What are your options given your current academic status? What other types of financial aid do you qualify for and willing to accept? More on these questions when you get to chemistry, but for now, think about how you can start building your “back-up” plan. Remember, even if an athletic scholarship is offered, it can be reduced or canceled for any reason.

 

As the NCAA is the governing body for most college sports, you should consider reviewing the wealth of information on their web site. However, keep in mind that scholarships are administered directly by the each academic institution and not the NCAA.

 

NCAA Scholarships Page

 

OTHER RESOURCES

www.studentaid.ed.gov

www.fafsa.ed.gov

www.ed.gov

www.finaid.com

www.fastweb.com