Business

Focus on high tuition, but other college costs up, too

Grants and scholarships often sharply reduce the cost of attending pricey private schools like Georgetown, above.
Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press/File 2013
Grants and scholarships often sharply reduce the cost of attending pricey private schools like Georgetown, above.

WASHINGTON — Amid the grumbling about tuition increases and student loan costs, other college expenses are going up, too. The price of housing and food trumps tuition for students at two- and four-year public universities in their home states, a College Board survey shows. Even with the lower interest rates on student loans that President Obama has signed into law, students are eyeing bills that are growing.

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 of $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.

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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

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Tuition for students attending public four-year schools in their state was an average of $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.

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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.

But after grants and scholarships, the average student paid $23,840 to attend schools such as Yale and Stanford.

The tuition at private schools was up 13 percent beyond overall inflation over the past five years, adjusted for inflation.