Average Estimated Undergraduate Budgets, 2013-14

Tuition and fees constitute about 39% of the total budget for in-state students living on campus at public four-year colleges and universities and about 20% of the budget for public two-year college students who pay for off-campus housing.

Figure 1: Average Estimated Full-Time Undergraduate Budgets, 2013-14 (Enrollment-Weighted)
Notes & Sources 

NOTE: Expense categories are based on institutional budgets for students as reported by colleges and universities in the Annual Survey of Colleges. Figures for tuition and fees and room and board mirror those reported in Table 1A. Other expense categories are the average amounts allotted in determining total cost of attendance and do not necessarily reflect actual student expenditures.

SOURCE: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges.

  • Student budgets are constructed by institutional financial aid offices. These budgets form the basis for determining the total cost of attendance, which can affect the amount of financial aid for which students are eligible.
  • Tuition and fees differ more across sectors than room and board and other components of student budgets. As a result, while the average published tuition and fee price at public four-year colleges is 2.7 times as high as the price at two-year public colleges, the total student budget is only 1.4 times as high.
  • The average published tuition and fee price at public four-year colleges is about 30% of the average at private nonprofit four‑year institutions, but the average student budget is 51% as high.