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Bank Notes: College cost comparison

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Text, Bank Notes. U. S. Bank. An illustrated sheet of paper with a pie chart for an O in notes.

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[Music playing] Public colleges, private colleges, and trade schools each offer different benefits and different price tags.

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A woman in a living room setting.

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Let's take a look at how the cost of these institutions compare.

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Text, Cost comparison of private colleges, public colleges, and trade schools.

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Private colleges are funded by private donations and tuition. That's why private school tuition rates are typically much higher than public school rates. However, most private colleges offer scholarships and grants to help offset the costs. In fact, many students who attend private colleges don't pay full price.

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Text, Source, College Board's 2018 Trends in College Pricing Report.

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If you're a strong candidate or demonstrate enough financial need, you could receive a generous financial aid package.

Public or state colleges are funded by state governments.

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A map of the United States, with the states depicted in different shades of blue.

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Public colleges offer relatively low tuition rates for state residents and sometimes for residents of nearby states.

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A red "you are here"marker appears in the state of Illinois. Then red markers also appear in Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota.

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However, you may pay more than double to attend an out-of-state public college.

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Text, Source, Student Loan Hero, U S Department of Education.

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Public two-year colleges, also known as community colleges, charge the lowest average cost for credit. Many students attend these for a year or two to save money, boost their GPA, or grow their knowledge of a certain subject before transferring to a four-year school.

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Three circles, showing money, GPA, and a light bulb.

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Though public colleges typically have a lower sticker price, they often don't have many scholarships and grants to offer beyond basic federal aid.

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A stethoscope

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Then there are trade schools, which can be public or private. Many operate as for-profit businesses. Trade schools offer specialized training in a particular career, such as medical assistant fields or industrial technology. Programs are typically less than two years. The tuition rate depends on the type of trade school you attend, your program of study, and the program length.

When comparing schools, consider the educational requirements for the career you want to pursue, what you can realistically afford to pay for your education, how much debt you're willing to take on, and whether or not you qualify for merit-based or need-based financial aid.

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Illustrations of a diploma, a pile of money, an old-fashioned scale with the word debt on the front, filled with money, a man standing in front of a government building with a pile of money next to him.

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Where you go to school can impact not only your professional future, but your financial future, as well. Keeping these questions in mind will help you find the right fit for your career and financial goals.

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Text, U S Bank. u s bank dot com slash financial I.Q., Credit products offered by U S Bank National Association are subject to credit approval and proper guidelines. Call your business banker for current rates and terms. Deposit products are offered by U S Bank National Association, Member F D I C. 

Bank Notes: Comparing college costs

The cost of higher education can very greatly. Here’s how different types of schools compare.

Tags: Education, Goals, Planning, Student
Published: January 15, 2020

Do you know what types of colleges, trade schools or universities fit your goals and your budget? This video breaks down the costs of popular higher education institutions. 
 

Looking for more college guidance? Check out our Student center.