How much does college cost?
There are several types of college costs that make up a
college's "Cost of Attendance:"
- Tuition and fees
- Room and board
- Books and supplies
- Personal, transportation and miscellaneous expenses
Tuition and fees
"Tuition" is the amount of money colleges charge for each class
they offer. Students that are considered "in-state" or "resident"
for the purposes of tuition may be eligible for the College Opportunity Fund stipend, which will
lower the amount you pay for tuition.
Colleges also charge a variety of fees, such as a technology or
student services fee, to help offset the cost of offering these
services. Tuition and fees are direct costs of attending school and
usually must be paid (or payment arrangements made) to the school
before you begin the first day of classes.
Room and board
If you will live in a residence hall, you will also have to pay
college room and board expenses up front. Even if you live
off-campus, you should estimate how much you will pay for rent,
food, utilities and other living expenses.
Books, supplies, personal, transportation and
Other items, such as personal expenses, transportation and in
some cases, housing, are indirect costs for which you can budget
and pay over the full academic year. You should also budget for
expenditures that are not included in the college's Cost of
Attendance (COA) calculation such as car payments, health insurance
and vacation travel.
When you look at a college's COA, remember that it's possible
your actual expenditures may be less than the school's estimated
COA. For example, you may be able to save on books by buying used
books instead of new, or you could share the cost of an apartment
by rooming with a friend (however, some colleges do require that
freshman live on campus in student housing during their first
College costs vary widely based on the type of school you
attend. You can compare costs between private, public four-year and
public two-year colleges on the side-by-side comparison of Colorado
When you choose a college, don't base your decision
solely on costs. Think about your career goals and educational
needs too. Financial aid is available to offset the costs
for many students and families. You can view Colorado college financial aid websites by
Financial Aid Award Estimator
The Financial Aid Award Estimator (FAAE) is a tool
you can use to help you determine how much it costs to attend a
particular Colorado college, as well as give you an estimate of
what types of federal financial aid you may be eligible to
What is the maximum amount I should borrow in student loans?
Experts agree that your future student loan payments should not
exceed 8% of your expected annual income, or if you are married, 8%
of your household income.
Once you have looked at the Financial Aid Award Estimator you
can take the financial aid estimate information from that to use in
the SLOPE Calculator.
The SLOPE Calculator is a tool designed to help
you decide how much you can afford to borrow based on how much you
may earn from your intended career. SLOPE also offers a budgeting
feature that allows you to itemize what you may spend each month to
see whether you will make enough money to support your desired