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Cost of attending a four year university

Updated on May 19, 2013

Photos of some of the nations top schools

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Which will you be
Which will you be | Source

First Things First

Before you start your choices of which colleges to attend, there are still some things that need to be done in high school first.

Junior Year

  1. Make sure that your courses meet college requirements
  2. Register and take the PSAT
  3. Make sure to get the best grades possibles
  4. Plan some challenging classes for senior year

Register for the ACT and SAT and plan a list of about 15 to 20 schools

Senior Year

  1. Plan for schedule to meet with college reps
  2. Ask teachers to write recommendations for you
  3. Send in early applications
  4. Prepare the Federal Student Aid
  5. Send midyear report cards to schools
  6. Take your test


Choose your top ten schools

When considering which four year school to attend there are allot of things to consider. First the size of the school. Are you looking to attend somewhere big or small? If you are from a small high school then you may want to attend a college that has around the same number of students to be comfortable. It is sometimes difficult for someone who comes from a small high school to transition into a large school setting.

Large universities have a wide range of educational, athletic, and social experiences. Universities are usually made up of several smaller colleges, and may be public or private. Some large private universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Northwestern are known for their high entrance standards.

Location and distance from home are two other important considerations. If you have always lived in the suburbs, then choosing an urban college would be an adventure. Everyone going off to college doesn't think that he/she will get home sick, but it doesn't hurt to have a home cooked meal from time to time. Even your pain in the butt brother may have missed you after a couple of months away..

Some other top college cost

Annual Cost
Four Year Cost
University of North Carolina
Northwestern University
University of Michigan
As always these prices are subject to change

Financial Aid Basics

A college education can cost more than $150,000 for four years at some of the higher priced universities. Even at a state college the cost could be as much as $60,000. Before you get discouraged numbers say that over 50% of full time students attend four year universities for less that $9,000. Schools tend to cost more on the east coast than the west.

Financial Aid Programs

1. Gift-aid- Scholarships and grants are funds that do not have to be repaid.

2. Loans- Loans must be repaid, Usually after graduation. It is the amount borrowed plus interest.

3. Student Employment- Student jobs are arranged for you by the student aid office.

Millions of students apply for financial aid each year. The largest single source of financial aid comes from the federal government which gives out about $100 billion dollars last year.

The next largest source of financial aid is found in the college and university community. Aid that is not based on need is usually awarded for academic performance, specific talents or abilities, or to attract the type of students a college seeks to enroll.

Another source of financial aid is from the state government. All states offer grant or scholarship aid which is mostly need based. Most state programs award aid only to students attending college in their home state.

How need-based financial aid is awarded:

  1. Demographic information of the family
  2. In come of the parents
  3. Assets of the parents
  4. Income of the student
  5. Assets of the student

    Every student must fill out a Free Application for federal student aid to be considered for financial aid.

Duke University

Duke university is an independent, comprehensive, coeducational research institution that dates back to 1838. It was originally called Union institute in Randolph County, North Carolina. It became Duke University in 1924.

Duke has 14,248 full time students, and is among the smallest of the nations major universities. At Duke learning is a top priority and teaching is personal. The university is located in Durham, North Carolina which is about 450 miles from Atlanta and 250 miles from Washington, D.C.

For the 2010-11 year annual cost for the university were $55,690 with $40,575 going toward tuition and fees, and about $11,830 for room and board. and another $3285 for books and other fees.


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