Paying for College
Understanding College Costs
Figuring out how to pay for college starts with understanding all of the costs involved. They typically include tuition, fees, and books, along with living expenses such as housing, food, and transportation. Many colleges will post an estimated cost of attendance (COA) in their publications and their websites.
Students often presume that tuition and fees represent the largest cost. That’s normally not the case. It varies by type of institution and your residency status. Tuition for out-of-state or private colleges is higher. For students attending in-state, or local community colleges, housing and other living expenses often represent a greater part of the overall costs.
A school’s cost of attendance, or COA, includes estimates for:
- Tuition and fees (in-state and out-of-state residency)
- Room and board
- Books and supplies
- Other expenses