Most and Least Expensive College Tuition by State

A diverse group of college students
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Whether you’re a prospective student or a proud parent, choosing the right place to go to college means deciding among many options that may or may not fit in your budget.

Where you live affects the cost of your college tuition, and most schools charge more for students from out-of-state. If you move to a different state, can you actually save money? Or is it worth staying close to home?

Compare the costs of in-state schools to your out-of-state picks before deciding. Also, consider a state’s average in-state net cost: in-state tuition for first-time students, plus living expenses, books and supplies, minus scholarships and financial aid.

The team at put together a list of states ranked by in-state tuition costs for public and private colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees and higher.

For inclusion into the average tuition cost for each state, public and private colleges met the following criteria:

  • Must offer bachelor’s and graduate degrees
  • Must operate on an academic year (non-open enrollment)
  • Must offer in-person learning (not online or “distance-education” only)

Numbered rankings were determined solely by in-state tuition, while out-of-state tuition and net cost were included for reference. The list starts with national averages, and then moves from lowest in-state tuition to highest, including Washington, D.C.

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