Average Cost of College in US for 2017-2018

Sometimes it helps to look at the data, and when it comes to college cost, there’s plenty of data. College costs are rising steadily year over year, so let’s take a look at the average cost of college in the US from 2017 to 2018.

A shot of a college library.

Average Cost for Bachelor Degrees

According to College Board, NCES, and IPEDS, the following prices are the average undergraduate cost of college (including tuition, fees, and room & board) for the 2017–2018 school year.

Average Cost of College for 2017-2018

College Type Average College Cost: Tuition + Room & Board
Public Two-Year $11,970
Public Four-Year (In-State) $20,770
Public Four-Year (Out-of-State) $36,420
Private Four-Year (Not-for-Profit) $46,950
Sallie Mae logo.

3 Repayment Options

Variable rates from 6.37% - 16.70% APR with auto-debit

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Your Personalized College Cost Estimate

Of course, these averages don’t include things like personal costs, travel fees, textbooks, and other supplies, which is important to keep in mind. The “average” of something isn’t very personalized to you. Every student has unique circumstances, academic goals, and financial situations. Luckily, College Raptor can give you a more personalized estimate of how much you’ll pay for a college.

With our free College Match tool, you can see your very own net price estimate for nearly every college in the US—including what financial aid you’re likely to get, and your estimated debt upon graduation! Having a more personalized estimate can help you narrow down colleges. You’ll find that many schools are more affordable than you imagined.

Additionally, you can discover your acceptance odds and track your application status with our tool!

How to Pay for College

The average cost can be more than a little daunting. So how do you pay for it all? First and foremost: scholarships and grants. They’re the best way to pay since students don’t have to repay those. After that, check out work-study programs, federal student loans, and finally private student loans. Prioritize your financial aid opportunities to lower what you have to pay.

When it comes to private loans, you’ll need one that fits you well. Check out College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side.


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Citizens logo.
5.99%-16.48%* Variable
4.39%-15.45%* Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Sallie Mae logo.
6.37% - 16.70% Variable
4.50% - 15.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
5.37% - 16.85% Variable
4.17% - 16.69% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
5.98% - 13.74% Variable
3.99% - 12.61% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
6.23% - 16.09% Variable
4.29% - 15.96% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.54% - 11.08% Variable
3.95% - 8.01% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
5.62% - 16.85% Variable
4.29% - 16.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.00% - 14.22% Variable
4.50% - 14.22% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

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