The cost of college the year you were born – 24/7 Wall St.
The annual cost of attending a four-year private institution in the United States reached $ 50,770 last year, more than double what it was less than two decades ago and the first time that it was over $ 50,000.
For many Americans, a college degree is often seen as a measure of achievement, but post-secondary education has become prohibitive for many young people, even when receiving financial aid.
In order to be able to graduate, millions of students accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in debt, sometimes building up a debt burden that will take decades to fully pay off.
Based on College Board data, a nonprofit group associated with U.S. post-secondary institutions, 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed the nationwide average cost of attending four-year public and private colleges each year since 1971. Double digits include tuition, fees, and accommodation and meals.
In 1971, a four-year private college education in the United States cost less than a tenth of what it does today. Even after adjusting for inflation, a year of private college today costs more than two and a half times what it did then. This means college prices are disproportionately high for potential undergraduates at a wide range of institutions, and not just at the most expensive college in every state.
Click here to see the cost of a university education the year you were born.
Click here to read our detailed methodology.