With classes now underway at most universities, students are starting to dig into their semesters with full schedules. They are also digging into their wallets, as a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that student loan debt is currently the largest chunk of non-housing debt in the U.S., beating out both auto loan debt and credit card debt.
Here is a look at the numbers that showcase the current state of college prices in the United States.
According to a Forbes report citing the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median cost of a four-year degree has increased at a rate 8 times faster than the rate of increase in median wages. While the cost of a degree has doubled since 1989, wages have only seen a marginal increase.
When comparing public and private four-year institutions, private institutions continue to be a significantly more expensive option. The average private four-year cost of one year’s tuition, fees, room, and board is $48,510, while the average cost at a public four-year in-state college is $21,370; a savings of $27,140.
The average published in-state tuition and fees for public four-year schools increased by $250 from last year. This increase brings the U.S. average to over $10,000 for the first time.
Looking at first-time students at public four-year colleges, 78% attended a school in the state of which they are a resident. Since 2006, this number has fallen by 5%, showing that more students are opting for an out-of-state education. On average, attending an out-of-state college will cost students $16,060 more than in-state.
Of the 69% of college students from the Class of 2018 that took out student loans, the average student graduated with a debt balance of $29,800.