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Paying for College Tuition


The vast majority of students (70%) lack the financial resources to pay tuition up front and must rely on student loans, scholarships, the federal government or a private lender.

Some charity organizations offer scholarships for college tuition, based on merit or need.  Private schools/colleges/universities have higher tuition rates because they do not rely on state tax revenue funds to help finance their operations, much like the Public schools.  Because each state supports it own university system with state taxes, most public universities charge higher tuition for out of state students.

Annual tuition varies widely from state to state, and there are additional fees for parking, student health center and student union membership.  The average total cost, including tuition, fees, book, room and food for 2010 were reported to be:

  • Public University: $81,356 (4 years), at $27,967 (per year)
  • Private University: $161,904 (4 years), at $40,476 (per year)

Combined with the disproportionate inflation, this will continue to put college education out of reach of many Americans.  Sources of funding for these costs are limited.  Public schools are subsidized by local and state tax revenue, but this will hardly cover the difference in tuition that students are going to have to pay.

Funding for private school, college or university can come from the following sources:

  • Individual or Family funds (less than 30% of the student population)
  • Student loans from banks, credit unions (public lender)
  • Student loans from Sallie Mae (government lender)
  • Student loans from individuals (private lender)
  • Scholarships (from charity organizations, colleges, private or public endowment funds)