As with any big purchase, you want to ensure you’re getting the right product at the right price. Because you want to make sure that the store around the corner doesn’t have a similar product at a much lower price. 

Remember: Do your research to learn what more colleges of interest offer, what you could earn in financial aid and scholarships at each, and how to negotiate what you receive.

Average College Tuition and Fees

Here are the numbers of average annual tuition and required fees over the past decade, by 4-year and 2-year institutions. both public and private. 

  All institutions 4-year public institutions 4-year private institutions 2-year public institutions 2-year private institutions
2011-12  11,770 8,920 27,133 3,066 16,145
2012-13  12,149 9,179 27,893 3,175 16,094
2013-14  12,401 9,309 28,790 3,226 15,870
2014-15  12,772 9,499 29,729 3,285 15,856
2015-16  13,100 9,695 30,859 3,355 16,044
2016-17  13,251 9,548 31,965 3,423 15,821
2017-18  13,377 9,583 32,583 3,438 15,796
2018-19  13,520 9,571 33,127 3,441 16,334
2019-20 13,667 9,564 33,518 3,455 16,195
2020-21 13,674 9,374 32,728 3,501 15,474
2021-22 14,307 9,596 34,041 3.564 16,579

NCES 2022

In brief, over the past decade, the average cost of tuition and fees has increased from $11,770 in 2011-12 to $14,307 in 2021-22. That’s about 20% over a decade—not bad. Gas prices can jump 20% in three months.

Average College Tuition and Fees by State

Here are the average yearly college tuition and required fees for each state, including in-state and out-of-state tuition for public 4-year and 2-year institutions, as well as private 4-year institutions for 2021-22, the most recent data available. 

  Public 4-year Private 4-year Public 2-year  
  In-state  Out-of-state   In-state Out-of-state
   United States  $9,596 $27,457 $34,041 $3,564 $8,415
Alabama 10,737 27,145 17,168 4,920 9,647
Alaska 8,851 25,414 19,883
Arizona 11,452 26,025 13,272 2,182 7,333
Arkansas 8,622 21,981 24,128 3,486 4,882
California 8,559 34,454 39,068 1,281 8,936
Colorado 9,573 31,699 26,784 3,329 9,530
Connecticut 14,963 37,414 44,376 4,538 13,494
Delaware 11,707 32,419 11,905
District of Columbia 6,152 13,004 45,528
Florida 4,613 18,344 29,605 2,506 9,111
Georgia 7,632 23,345 31,335 3,174 8,538
Hawaii 10,356 32,043 20,252 3,225 8,378
Idaho 7,478 24,754 6,716 3,327 8,228
Illinois 14,993 29,350 36,637 4,204 11,339
Indiana 9,780 29,269 36,763 4,637 8,927
Iowa 9,670 28,257 36,659 5,455 7,008
Kansas 9,216 23,967 27,141 3,551 4,756
Kentucky 11,107 25,325 27,553 4,516 15,262
Louisiana 9,749 23,395 42,892 4,242 5,445
Maine 10,650 30,099 40,163 3,866 6,748
Maryland 9,851 27,111 47,092 4,367 10,631
Massachusetts 14,023 32,291 50,820 5,559 10,715
Michigan 14,116 40,004 32,292 3,871 7,803
Minnesota 12,345 25,238 34,771 5,795 6,312
Mississippi 8,930 20,848 19,603 3,592 5,886
Missouri 9,944 22,812 28,965 3,909 7,289
Montana 7,097 27,435 32,954 3,940 9,301
Nebraska 8,763 21,953 26,368 3,319 4,220
Nevada 6,564 23,550 23,896
New Hampshire 16,846 32,035 19,786 7,109 15,324
New Jersey 14,861 29,681 39,094 4,909 8,148
New Mexico 7,311 21,952 25,712 1,805 6,461
New York 8,541 20,304 44,149 5,660 8,872
North Carolina 7,337 23,452 38,346 2,524 8,537
North Dakota 9,364 13,973 16,979 5,441 6,449
Ohio 10,456 26,881 36,136 4,498 8,097
Oklahoma 8,291 22,125 30,175 4,288 9,413
Oregon 11,871 34,292 45,571 5,204 8,865
Pennsylvania 14,920 26,426 45,406 5,549 12,657
Rhode Island 14,172 32,910 47,522 4,980 13,260
South Carolina 12,605 33,217 27,840 4,991 10,330
South Dakota 9,131 13,194 27,493 7,367 7,211
Tennessee 10,397 24,381 30,734 4,459 17,209
Texas 8,185 25,419 38,807 2,859 7,913
Utah 7,115 22,244 7,613 4,086 12,734
Vermont 17,683 41,914 48,968 6,920 13,640
Virginia 14,273 36,674 23,878 5,196 12,094
Washington 7,842 31,410 40,839 4,727 8,421
West Virginia 8,451 22,915 12,115 4,544 10,071
Wisconsin 8,905 27,024 36,680 4,585 6,627
Wyoming 4,929 14,669 4,071 9,868

NCES 2022
† No relevant data in these categories
_______________________________

While it’s helpful to know what the average tuition cost is, remember that the average student debt at graduation is $37,650. Set a goal to significantly lower your cost of college, especially your tuition costs. The best way to accomplish this is with the Big Three: grades, test scores, and extracurriculars. Challenge yourself in high school, study hard, and work so that you’ll pay much less than the average college tuition. One more thing: apply to colleges you can afford.

Find the Perfect College at the Right Cost

College admissions can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. John Baylor and OnToCollege are here to help.