How Much Does College Cost?
There are many costs related to attending college:
When developing a college budget, be sure to consider all costs, not just tuition!
Below is a chart of average estimated national school tuition and fees:
|Type of College||Average Published Yearly Tuition and Fees|
|Public Two-Year College (in-district students)||$3,440|
|Public Four-Year College (in-state students)||$9,410|
|Public Four-Year College (out-of-state students)||$23,890|
|Private Four-Year College||$32,410|
Types of Aid
While college may seem too expensive or out of reach, there are many types of financial aid to help cover costs. Aid can be federal, state, or school-based.
Grants - money that generally does not have to be repaid
Loans - borrowed money that must be repaid with interest over a certain period of time
Work Study - work-study job that allows you to earn money to help pay for school
Scholarships - money awarded based on academic or other achievements to help pay for education expenses (generally do not have to be repaid).
How to Apply for Federal Student Aid (FSA)
1. Create an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) online and to access U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity and electronically sign your federal student aid documents. To create an FSA ID, visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid.
2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) at www.fafsa.gov. If you plan to attend college from July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018, you’ll be able to submit a 2017–18 FAFSA beginning on Oct. 1, 2016. You’ll be required to report income and tax information from 2015. Schools and states often use FAFSA information to award nonfederal aid, but their deadlines vary. Check with the schools that you’re interested in for their deadlines, and find state deadlines at www.fafsa.gov.
3. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR). After you apply, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR. Your SAR contains the information reported on your FAFSA and usually includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a number (not a dollar amount) used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Review your SAR information to make sure it’s correct. The school(s) you list on your FAFSA will get your SAR data electronically.
4. Contact the school(s) you might attend. Make sure the financial aid office at each school you’re interested in has all the information needed to determine your eligibility. If you’re eligible, each school’s financial aid office will send you an aid offer showing the amount and types of aid (from all sources) the school will offer you. You can compare the aid offers you received and see which school is the most affordable once financial aid is taken into account.Source: Federal Student Aid At A Glance
Search for Scholarships:
The College Foundation of West Virginia offers college and financial aid counseling through text messages (it's free!). Students considering enrolling in college in 2017 may sign up to receive the texts. Text messages will provide reminders about important deadlines. Plus, students can text our number at any time to receive free help from a college-planning professional!
FAFSA4caster is a free financial aid calculator that gives you an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This information helps families plan ahead for college.
Check out this College Prep Checklist from Federal Student Aid for students and parents.