Still a great deal

The average sticker price for in-district tuition and fees at public two-year colleges increased by $100 (2.8 percent), from $3,630 in 2018-19, to $3,730 in 2019-20, according to an annual report by the College Board.

At public four-year colleges, the increase was $230 (2.3 percent) to $10,440.

Community college tuition and fees vary across states, from $1,430 in California and $1,860 in New Mexico, to $7,100 in New Hampshire and $8,210 in Vermont, says “Trends in College Pricing 2019.” In nine states, it did not increase.

The College Board also has released its “Trends in Student Aid 2019” report

The report shows community colleges continue to be a great value as overall college costs increase. Twenty years ago, the average sticker price for community colleges was about half of the average tuition-and-fee price of public four-year institutions. It is currently just above one-third (36 percent) of the average price of public four-year colleges.

Less for other expenses

The report notes that full-time community college students, on average, continue to receive enough student aid to cover tuition and fees. However, there’s less left over that they can apply toward additional education expenses. In 2019-20, they have an estimated $400 that they can put toward other expenses, compared to almost $1,000 in 2010-11, the report says.

In 2019-20, full-time students at public two-year colleges have to cover an average of about $8,500 in room and board after grant aid and tax benefits, the report says. There are also related costs such as books, supplies and other living expenses.

In 2015-16, about half (51 percent) of full-time community college students lived with their parents, the report notes. Another 45 percent of them lived off campus. Four percent lived on campus.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.