My NacuboWhy Join: Benefits of Membership

E-mail:   Password:   

 Remember Me? | Forgot password? | Need an online account?


New NCES Brief Examines Total Cost of College

April 3, 2015

The latest Stats In Brief from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) breaks down college costs by the total price of attendance, net price after grants, and the average out-of-pocket net price. In the 2011-12 academic year, the average total cost of attendance—tuition and fees, room and board, books, and living expenses—for one year was $43,500 at private nonprofit institutions and $23,200 at public four-year institutions (see figure).



The analysis of the total cost of attendance by average non-tuition expenses and average tuition and fee expenses showed that non-tuition expenses range between $12,200 and $14,700 depending on the type of institution.

At $27,900 the average net price of attendance after grants and scholarships was significantly less than the stated total price of attendance at private nonprofit institutions. Public four-year institutions' average net price was $18,000. Of this net cost, many students and parents decide to finance the balance through federal loans. The average portion of the net cost paid out-of-pocket was $18,100 for private nonprofit schools and $11,800 for public four-year institutions. The financed portion of each year's cost of attendance will result in a larger overall price than the net price because of interest on the loans during years of repayment or even while the student is in school.


Natalie Pullaro Davis
Manager, Research and Policy Analysis