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Education Cost Calculator

This calculator requires the use of Javascript enabled and capable browsers. This script creates a valid assessment of how much expense is involved to provide a college education or private school education, or both. Our default values are based conceptually on information provided to public domain at the CollegeBoard.Com website. We first wrote this in 1994 and have updated the information and have included other essential factors, the latest revision being June 2004; cost data is based on the figures available in June of 2004. Education time can be calculated from any point. Our default expenses and values are education and school fees only, excluding any room and board or other expenses. The 14 year span tables for public and private college and university costs below INCLUDE room and board minimums. The average college costs information below that does NOT include room and board or other costs but does include some general information about it.

To use our calculator, you may accept the defaults, or fill in your own annual values. Then click on Calculate. You may change any values and recalculate as often as you wish. Be aware that the average four year education is quickly becoming the average five year education due to lack of availability of classes. This calculator is designed to help you plan your children's paid educational needs by estimating the future cost of fees, taking into account personal savings, investments and inflation. We strongly suggest you consult your own financial advisor. At best, this calculator is an approximation, based on your entries. Use at your own risk.

Unit
Number
Required Data Entry
Education costs will increase by   % annually
Your investments will return (after tax)   % annually
Your child will enter paid school or college  
Current annual costs (public in state 2004) $
Number of years of education costs  
Amount of your current education savings $
Your child's age now  
   
Calculated Results
Your child's education will cost $
Anticipated future value of your current savings $
Estimated annual contribution needs to be $
The average cost of a year's tuition, room and board, and fees at a private college in 2002 was $22,541, based on (source: CollegeBoard.Com). Most experts predict that the cost of private college will increase at a rate of about 5% or more per year. Here is a chart of what the average cost of a year of private college would be through 2017, based on a conservative 5% annual cost growth.
Private College Average Annual Cost
2002: $24,851 2010: $36,717
2003: $26,094 2011: $38,553
2004: $27,399 2012: $40,480
2005: $28,769 2013: $42,504
2006: $30,207 2014: $44,630
2007: $31,717 2015: $46,861
2008: $33,303 2016: $49,204
2009: $34,968 2017: $51,664


Of course, if your child decides on one of the most prestigious private schools, the cost will be even more. This year, most of the top colleges have crossed the $33,000-a-year barrier. In five years, at 5% growth per year, that will be over $42,000. The average cost of a year's tuition, room and board, and fees at a public university last year was $8,470 (source: CollegeBoard.Com). Many experts predict that the cost of public university will also increase at a rate of about 5% or more per year over the next decade. Here is a chart of what the average conservative cost of a year of public university could cost through 2017, assuming public education stays alive that long.

Public University Average Annual Cost
2002: $9,338 2010: $13,797
2003: $9,805 2011: $14,487
2004: $10,295 2012: $15,211
2005: $10,810 2013: $15,971
2006: $11,351 2014: $16,770
2007: $11,918 2015: $17,609
2008: $12,514 2016: $18,489
2009: $13,140 2017 $19,413


Of course, if you are attending one of the "public prestige schools" such as the University of Michigan as an out-of-state resident, the annual cost right now is already over $27,000. In five years, at a 5% growth rate per year, that would be nearly $34,500.
Average College Costs 2003-2004 But Did You Know That...
Four-year private $19,710 (up 6 percent from last year)

Four-year public $4,694 (up 14.1 percent from last year)
  • About 29 percent of students attending four-year colleges pay less than $4,000 for tuition and fees per year.
  • Almost 70 percent of students attending four-year colleges pay less than $8,000 for tuition and fees per year.
  • Only 8 percent of all students attend colleges where tuition and fees total $24,000 and over per year.
Two-year public $1,905 (up 13.8 percent from last year)
  • 43 percent of all students attend two-year colleges. The average tuition and fees for a public two-year college is less than $2,000 per year.
Students will pay, on average, from $337 to $368 more than last year for this year's room and board, depending on the type of college.

The average surcharge for out-of-state or out-of-district students at public institutions is $3,967 at two-year colleges and $7,046 at four-year colleges.
  • A record $105 billion in financial aid is available to students and their families, an increase of 12 percent over last year.
  • Almost 60 percent of undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid.
  • Almost half of all college students receive grant aid. In 2002-2003 grant aid averaged almost $2,000 per student in two-year public colleges, over $2,400 at public four-year colleges, and about $7,300 per student at private four-year colleges.
Updated.6.05.11


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