Just like with any big purchase, you want to make sure you’re getting the right product at the right price! And you want to make sure the store around the corner doesn’t have the same thing at a much lower rate. That’s why it’s good to have the average college tuition numbers in your back pocket. 

This blog shares the average college tuition prices over the years and in each state. 

Remember: Do your research to see what potential colleges offer, what you could earn in financial aid and scholarships, and how to negotiate what you receive!  

Now let’s get started!

Average College Tuition over the Years

Here are the numbers of average annual tuition over the last ten years, broken down by 4-year institutions (both public and private) and 2-year institutions. 

Average tuition across all institutions Average tuition across 4-year institutions Average tuition across 2-year institutions
2008-09  17,045 20,361 8,219
2009-10  17,650 21,126 8,541
2010-11  18,475 22,074 8,868
2011-12  19,401 23,011 9,347
2012-13  20,233 23,871 9,573
2013-14  20,995 24,701 9,891
2014-15  21,729 25,409 10,153
2015-16  22,439 26,132 10,407
2016-17  23,091 26,592 10,597
2017-18  23,833 27,357 10,704
2018-19  24,623 28,123 11,389

NCES 2020

In the last ten years, the average cost of tuition has increased significantly, from $17,045 in 2008 – 2009 to $24,623 in 2018 – 2019. 

Average College Tuition by State

It’s also helpful to see the average yearly college tuition numbers for each state, including in-state and out-of-state tuition for public 4-year institutions, as well as tuition for private 4-year and public 2-year colleges for 2018-2019. 

Public 4-year Private 4-year Public 2-year
In-state tuition and fees Out-of-state tuition and fees Tuition and fees In-state tuition and fees

United States 

$9,212 $26,382 $31,875 $3,313
Alabama  10,138 25,782 16,119 4,770
Alaska  8,396 24,454 19,315
Arizona  10,666 26,383 12,711 2,161
Arkansas  8,391 20,825 23,179 3,291
California  8,118 31,423 35,524 1,271
Colorado  9,394 30,140 23,560 3,655
Connecticut 12,959 33,709 41,807 4,434
Delaware  10,607 30,405 14,758
District of Columbia  5,888 12,416 43,143
Florida  4,443 18,456 26,317 2,506
Georgia  7,319 22,751 28,839 2,916
Hawaii  9,952 31,581 17,098 3,140
Idaho  7,586 23,850 6,139 3,345
Illinois  14,259 28,522 33,454 3,966
Indiana  9,225 29,092 33,402 4,368
Iowa  9,966 24,521 33,821 5,137
Kansas  8,941 23,302 22,571 3,435
Kentucky  10,674 25,430 27,648 4,274
Louisiana  9,358 22,208 37,830 4,143
Maine  9,930 27,735 38,972 3,753
Maryland  9,521 26,883 43,141 4,225
Massachusetts  13,286 30,966 46,016 5,192
Michigan  12,888 35,844 27,936 3,582
Minnesota  11,381 22,780 33,212 5,389
Mississippi  8,340 19,942 17,953 3,262
Missouri  8,554 19,914 25,417 3,358
Montana  6,972 24,481 25,918 3,756
Nebraska  8,467 21,516 25,075 3,174
Nevada  5,845 21,125 24,423
New Hampshire  16,329 29,447 33,364 7,599
New Jersey  13,963 28,669 37,329 4,715
New Mexico  6,902 18,350 30,137 1,705
New York  8,184 22,083 40,527 5,367
North Carolina  7,174 22,968 33,990 2,504
North Dakota  8,091 15,565 15,206 4,895
Ohio  10,068 24,454 32,597 4,082
Oklahoma  7,866 21,526 27,694 4,112
Oregon  10,286 30,929 40,597 4,709
Pennsylvania  14,812 28,527 41,703 5,284
Rhode Island  12,576 29,998 42,108 4,564
South Carolina  13,013 32,174 25,621 4,728
South Dakota  8,772 12,465 23,252 6,170
Tennessee  9,789 26,068 28,080 4,287
Texas  8,678 25,031 34,476 2,259
Utah  6,731 21,557 7,852 3,843
Vermont  16,604 39,947 44,068 7,120
Virginia  13,413 34,890 23,380 5,241
Washington  7,036 29,228 38,754 4,169
West Virginia  8,016 21,996 12,513 4,276
Wisconsin  8,697 25,063 34,424 4,411
Wyoming  4,596 14,268 3,219

NCES 2020

† No relevant data in these categories

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While it’s helpful to know what the average tuition cost is, it’s important to remember that with the average college tuition comes the average student debt of $28,950. It’s important to make it your 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 to pay well below the average college tuition! Best of luck!

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.