According to the College Board, the average published yearly in-state tuition and fees for a public four-year university is $10,740. Assuming a student graduates on time, the base cost will be $42,960. This doesn’t account for other expenses like housing, food, and books. And, according to a 2014 report by Complete College America, most students don’t graduate in four years.

A private four-year university can potentially (but not always) cost more than an in-state school. The College Board averages $38,070 a year for private colleges. Assuming a four-year graduation period, this amounts $147,520, or over half the total cost of raising a kid. Keep in mind that these are only 2019-2020 numbers and costs are on an upward trend. Compare current figures to those just 30 years ago

Remember that these are only averages. In some areas you will find higher increases. And also remember, that we are only talking about one academic year.

Average Cost At A Public, Four-Year Institution

1989-1990 Academic Year2021-2022 Academic Year
$3,510*$10,740

Average Cost At A Private, Four-Year Institution

1989-1990 Academic Year2019-2020 Academic Year
$17,860*$38,070

* These costs are averages for tuition and fees only. Other costs like housing, food, and books are not factored in.