If you’re a student who wants to go to college, or you’re the parent of a student with college aspirations, the dollar figures can be daunting. As of 2017, according to the College Board, the average all-in price (including tuition and fees) for four years at an in-state public college approaches $40,000. For four years at an out-of-state public college, the number exceeds $102,000. And for four years at a private nonprofit college, the tab runs about $139,000.
However you slice it, going to college entails a major financial commitment. And it’s not getting any cheaper. In fact, between 2007-2008 and 2017-2018, overall tuition and fees at public four-year institutions have increased annually at an average rate of 3.2% above inflation, according to the latest figures from the College Board. So if college is still years away, simple math suggests that the aforementioned dollar figures will be significantly higher.