Counselor Resources

Guide your students through applying to college, obtaining aid, and considering a career.

How Much Will College Cost Me?

Costs vary by college type and other factors

Unfortunately, there's no perfect formula for figuring out how much college will cost. The costs for things like tuition and books change every semester and depend on the college or university that you select. Tuition and fees can range from $3,000 to more than $32,000 per year. Community colleges usually offer the least expensive tuition costs, but many four-year colleges and universities provide a great deal, especially for resident or in-state students.

To get a sense of how much your degree or certificate will cost you, do one of the following.

  • Visit the website of a school you will apply to. Most schools offer a net price calculator on their websites, which provides a ballpark figure on cost. It's important to note that this is an estimated cost, since you may receive more or less aid than what's included in the net price calculation.
  • Estimate your costs using AIE's Major Choices calculator, which compares costs by college and major at different Texas schools.
  • Refer to the table below for an estimate based on school type.


Tuition and Fees

Room and Board

Total of Tuition and Fees
plus Room and Board

Two-Year Public





Four-Year Public

In-state, on-campus




Out-of-State, on-campus




Four-Year Private





For Profit





* Sample too small to provide meaningful information.

** Average total expenses include room and board costs for commuter students, which are average estimated living expenses for students living off campus but not with parents.

Source: Trends in College Pricing, College Board.

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