Cost of College

We know that more education usually equals more income, but as the cost of education continues to rise, the challenge to earn a college degree also increases. Based on estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics, here’s how much the cost has gone up over the years.

Rising Costs

Since 1967, the National Center for Education Statistics has tracked the cost of college: tuition, room, and board. Costs continue to rise for all types.

Public

Private

$43,139

$40,000

$40,000

$30,000

$30,000

The average total cost in 2018 was $20,050 per academic year.

4-year

$16,046

$20,000

$20,000

Board

In 1967, the cost was

$7,907

Room

$10,000

$10,000

Tuition

$0

$0

1967

1980

1990

2000

2010

2018

1967

1980

1990

2000

2010

2018

$40,000

$40,000

$25,596

$30,000

$30,000

2-year

$20,000

$20,000

$12,656

$10,281

$10,000

$10,000

$5,352

$0

$0

1967

1980

1990

2000

2010

2018

1967

1980

1990

2000

2010

2018

Cost is in 2017-18 dollars.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics / By: FlowingData

Public, 4-year

$30k

The average total cost in 2018 was $20,050 per academic year.

$20k

Board

In 1967, the cost was

$7,907

Room

$10k

Tuition

$0k

1967

1980

1990

2000

2010

2018

Public, 2-year

$10,281

$10k

$5,352

$0k

1967

1980

1990

2000

2010

2018

Private, 4-year

$43,139

$40k

$30k

$16,046

$20k

$10k

$0k

1967

1980

1990

2000

2010

2018

Private, 2-year

$30k

$25,596

$20k

$12,656

$10k

$0k

1967

1980

1990

2000

2010

2018

Cost is in 2017-18 dollars.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

By: FlowingData

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking at public versus private or four-year versus two-year. At the least, the cost of tuition, room, and board has just about doubled when you compare 2018 costs to that of 1967’s.

Notes

Become a member. Learn to visualize data. From beginner to advanced.

Join Today

Membership

This is for people interested in the process of creating, designing, and exploring data graphics. Your support goes directly to FlowingData, an independently run site.

What You Get

  • Instant access to tutorials on how to make and design data graphics
  • Source code and files to use with your own data
  • In-depth courses on visualization in R
  • Hand-picked links and resources from around the web
  • Members-only newsletter

Favorites

Divorce and Occupation

Some jobs tend towards higher divorce rates. Some towards lower. Salary also probably plays a role.

What Qualifies as Middle-Income in Each State

The meaning of “middle-income” changes a lot depending on where you live and your household size.

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, …

Where People Run in Major Cities

There are many exercise apps that allow you to keep …