It's easy to go into sticker shock when looking at the full price of private colleges and universities.
For this 2016-17 academic year, the average published tuition and fees at private colleges and universities rose 3.6 percent from the past academic year to $33,480, according to the College Board. When you factor in room and board, the College Board estimates the average private-school student will pay a total of $45,370 this academic year.
Like many major purchases, there is the listed price on the brochure and the price you will really pay. The College Board found that more than 70 percent of full-time students receive grant aid to help them pay for college.
"The majority of students aren't paying the sticker prices at private institutions. We need to make it easier to talk about the relevant prices," said Phillip Levine, a Wellesley College economist who developed MyinTuition, a new simple cost calculator used by 15 schools, including Columbia,