The Education Department’s new College Affordability and Transparency Center provides information on where college costs are rising the fastest or slowest, plus help in searching for college options.
All the cheapest community colleges are in California, where tuition is rising from a very low base. The most expensive community colleges tend to be in New Hampshire.
Connecticut College charges the highest tuition of any four-year institution: $43,990 a year. Sarah Lawrence, Columbia and Vassar are close behind. The most expensive public university, Penn State, is a mere $15,250 a year. At $910 a year, Berea College in Kentucky is by far the cheapest private college. Haskell Indian Nations University in South Dakota is the cheapest public four-year institution, charging $430 a year.
Colleges can estimate net price after grants or monthly payments, but it’s just a guess, warn Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson.