The Cost of College pt. 1

Every year, the price of school is going up. According to a Bloomberg report, the price of college tuition and fees have gone up 1,120% since records began being kept in 1978.  Simply put, school is getting more expensive each year. So what exactly are you paying for when it comes to “tuition and fees?” And what other costs are associated with school?

costa college chart.jpg

Tuition alone

Tuition is the amount of money you pay for being instructed in class. This rate is usually calculated per credit hour, or one unit of academic credit. Depending on your major, the amount you pay per credit may differ. The price per credit hour may also differ, depending on if you’re going to school in state or out of state. Tuition is usually cheaper for residents than it is for non-residents.


Student fees include things like parking, library access, registration and the student government. Fees may also include your ID card, a membership in the student union, access to the student gym, bus services, and other student activities. Depending on where you go to college, you may pay for all of this only once your first year of college. Other colleges might charge you once per year or semester, but needless to say, most colleges do include student fees.

Tuition and Fees Added Up

You could spend during the 2013-2014 school year:

  • $30,094 at private colleges*
  • $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges*
  • $22,203 for out-of-state residents at public colleges*

Books & School Supplies

Though some college classes don’t require books, a lot of them do. Plus there are other supplies you might need for class other than JUST the course book. You’ve got to keep in mind extra reading materials, reference books, pens, pencils, notebooks, even a computer or laptop, when calculating costs.  The average cost for books and supplies during the school year of 2012-2013 was $1,200 at a public school, and $1,244 at a private school.*

Source: College Data


Michigan First Credit Union wants to help us young adults get through school and achieve our dreams. So, we are currently running our yearly scholarship program.  Michigan First is giving up to $85,000 in scholarships, with some students winning up to $10,000, $5,000 or $3,000 to help pay for tuition and books.

Click here to learn more about the scholarship and to apply. 

Tuition and fees are just SOME of the expenses for college. Next week I’ll share the other costs that come with school.


Your loyal college colleague,