If you are comparing the costs of several colleges, you should consider not only tuition and fees, but also other expenses that you will incur while on campus. In addition to tuition and fees, your total cost of attendance includes housing and meal expenses, such as room and board if you live on campus; books and supplies; transportation costs; personal expenses, such as clothing, laundry, hair care and entertainment expenses; and miscellaneous expenses.
For the purpose of determining your eligibility for financial id, each college is responsible for determining an annual average Cost of Attendance (COA) for its students, using a standard definition prescribed by the U.S. Congress. Costs vary widely by individual colleges. To give you an idea of the average costs of attending college, the College Board estimates that, for the 2002-2003 academic year, the average annual costs for resident undergraduates attending a four-year public college are $12,841, and the annual costs of attending a four-year private college average $27, 677.