Finding a college that’s affordable can oftentimes be like trying to find an honest lawyer (no correlation, by the way). Most universities usually only tell you their tuition rates, but that’s really only half of what you will be paying for. Campus fees, textbooks, room and board, and food are among some of the things that end up coming out of your pocket. Even if you have those covered, note this: tuition rates for most schools aren’t going down, they’re going up!
To help students keep up with the rising cost of attendance, the Department of Education has provided a tool for this. The College Scorecard, as it’s called, provides students with the average costs of admission per year for every college and university in the U.S. This also includes the average increase in attendance costs as well as the loan default rate (are students able to pay back their loans?), approximate amount borrowed in federal loans each month, and graduation rate. A calculator is also provided in case if you would like to know what it will cost you exactly, based on what your needs are.
It’s important that you’re aware as to how much you’ll end up spending when you’re deciding where to go to college and whether you’ll have the means to pay it off. If there’s a particular university you want to go into that has a high cost of attendance, but also a high graduation rate, you may want to do some research on that school to see how other students make it through. The main thing here is be informed, that way you’ll be able to make the best decisions when it comes to choosing a college and pursuing your career.