The States With The Most (And Least) Affordable Colleges

Career College Central summary:

  • Average in-state tuition at public four-year universities rose by just 2.9% this year, the smallest increase in more than three decades, according to data released last week by College Board. When adjusted for inflation, it has barely increased at all.
  • In the current school year, the average cost of tuition and fees at a public, four-year institution for an in-state student is $8,093. At a private four-year university, tuition and fees are more than $30,000. With the cost of tuition for private universities still astronomically high, more students may be opting to attend a public school within their home state.
  • Not all school systems offer the same discount relative to private education. A student attending a public university in his native Wyoming pays an average of just $4,404 in tuition and fees. Meanwhile, a New Hampshire native would spend $14,665 to attend a public university at home. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 colleges with the highest and lowest average in-state tuition and fees.
  • It might be assumed that the states with the highest tuition and fees would have the best colleges, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Based on the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best public four-year institutions, only four of the states with the highest tuitions have a school in the top 20-ranked universities. Meanwhile, North Carolina and Florida, both of which have among the lowest tuitions have colleges in the top 20.
  • Some states invest much more in their public institutions than others, and it appears that this translates into lower costs for their students. The two cheapest state university systems, Alaska and Wyoming, each had more than $15,000 in state appropriations per student. By comparison, only two of the 10 most expensive college systems are in the top half, nationally, for per-student appropriations for higher education. In New Hampshire, the most expensive state, appropriations amounted to just $2,482, the lowest spending in the country.

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