When it comes to paying for college, what you should be paying for

The average student’s first year of college costs $26,000.

What should you be paying?

That depends on your income and the school you’re applying to.

Read More , but it’s still a lot of money.

That doesn’t mean it’s free, though.

According to an analysis by the Associated Press, $10,000 per year is the average amount students at private colleges pay in tuition, fees and room and board for the four years they’re enrolled.

But the AP’s analysis also shows that a college graduate can get by with less. 

The average student at a public four-year college has to pay $9,400 to attend.

That figure is lower at public universities than it is at private schools, but still high enough to qualify you for the maximum Pell Grant of $4,800.

And it’s even lower at community colleges, which have lower tuition than their private counterparts. 

But what about the other option, tuition waivers?

While most students receive Pell Grants for every $1 they pay in, they’re more likely to receive them for higher-priced schools. 

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in 2019, a college student at private four- or five-year colleges could get by paying about $5,500 in tuition for the full four years of attendance.

That would be roughly the amount of aid a student who was attending a public university would need to graduate. 

If you want to earn a higher salary, that might not be enough to pay for college tuition.

According the Wall Street Journal, some workers at high-tech firms have to be able to afford to live in New York City for at least two years.

That means that even a college-going bachelor can pay far less than a student with a lower income. 

While this might seem like a huge difference in price, it’s important to remember that it’s based on what the average student is paying for the college.

For example, students at a private college might be paying more for the cost of a college education, but students at an online four- year institution might not have to pay the same amount.

And students at smaller community colleges might be eligible for more aid, but their costs could be higher, too.