Economy

This Is the Most Expensive State to Get a College Education

Debate about the value of a college education has continued for years. People with college degrees tend to make more than high school graduates. However, these college graduates often face tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. And, over the years that these loans must be paid off, people have to put off purchases, including their first house.

Another debate is about which college major people should choose. Computer scientists often make more money than people who have English Literature degrees. However, not all students want to become computer programmers.

Some students are unlucky because the cost of a college education varies from state to state. To determine the most expensive state in which to get a college education, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Global Student Costs, a report compiled by DealA, a Singapore-based free coupon website for online shoppers. DealA used several college-related cost data, such as tuition fees and dormitory costs, from several sources, to arrive at an overall student cost score, with those with higher numbers being less expensive.

The average cost of tuition and fees to attend a public college in-state is $10,388 for the 2021-2022 year, according to U.S. News. Public school cost is about 73% less than the average sticker price at a private college of $38,185. The average cost for out-of-state students at public colleges is $22,698.

The five most expensive states we considered (Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire) are all in New England. All those states, except for Vermont, are home to Ivy League universities, among the most prestigious and costliest in the nation.

Vermont is the costliest state in two categories, public tuition fees and private tuition fees, leading to the lowest overall student score, indicating it is the costliest state to get a college education. Public tuition fees at Vermont schools are more than $4,000 higher than those schools in number two Rhode Island. Private tuition fees at colleges in the Green Mountain State are more than $3,000 higher than the institutions at runner-up Massachusetts.

New York has the costliest room and board at its colleges, setting students and their families back $10,180. Hawaii has by far the highest cost of living score at 193.3, more than 45 points higher than second-place New York.

The most expensive state in which to get a college education is Vermont. Here are the details:

  • Cost of living index score (US=100): 117
  • Average cost of student accommodation: $7,980
  • Public tuition fees: $28,793
  • Private tuition fees: $35,484
  • Overall student cost score: 0.67/10

DealA sourced the cost of living index for each state as of 2021 from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. The United States’ cost of living is 100, and lower index values mean lower cost of living, and vice versa. The average cost of public and private college tuition for the academic year 2021-2022 in each state was sourced from College Tuition Compare. The average annual cost of a college dormitory room for full-time students at degree-granting postsecondary institutions is for the academic year 2018-2019 and was sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics.

DealA gave each state a normalized score out of 10 points for each of the criteria, then calculated the average score out of 10 for each one to arrive at an overall student cost score.


Click here to see all the states where a college education is most expensive.

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