COLLEGE COSTS

Eugene Han & Raghav Kotha

How much does college cost?

University of Texas at Austin (Public 4-year)

  • Tuition & Fees

    • In-state: $9,830

    • Out-of-state: $34,836

  • Travel costs to and from the college to your hometown, and everyday transportation costs

    • Megabus: $5 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Austin, TX ONE-WAY

    • Car: 213 miles from Coppell, TX to UT Austin; ~$40 daily using a 2015 Honda Civic ROUND TRIP

  • Room & Board

    • $11,456

  • Amount of time/money YOUR potential major would take to complete

    • Economics; $4,673 a semester; $37,384 in 4 years

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Southern Methodist University (Private 4-year)


  • Tuition & Fees

    • $48,190

  • Travel costs to and from the college to your hometown, and everyday transportation costs

    • Dart: $80 a month - Monthly Local Passes

    • Car: 23 miles from Coppell, TX to SMU; ~$4 daily using a 2015 Honda Civic ROUND TRIP

  • Room & Board

    • $11,120/yr

  • Amount of time/money YOUR potential major would take to complete

    • Economics; $48,190 a year; $192,760 in 4 years
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North Lake College (Community)

  • Tuition & Fees

    • In-state: $3,015

    • Out-of-state: $4695

  • Travel costs to and from the college to your hometown, and everyday transportation costs

    • Dart: $80 a month - Monthly Local Passes

    • Car: 9 miles from Coppell, TX to North Lake College; ~$2 daily using a 2015 Honda Civic ROUND TRIP

  • Room & Board

    • N/A

  • Amount of time/money YOUR potential major would take to complete

    • $3,015 a semester; $12,060 in 2 years

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Princeton University (Private 4-year / Out-of-state)


  • Tuition & Fees

    • $45,150

  • Travel costs to and from the college to your hometown, and everyday transportation costs

    • Plane: $254 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Newark, New Jersey ONE-WAY

  • Room & Board

    • $14,720/yr

  • Amount of time/money YOUR potential major would take to complete

    • Economics; $45,150 a year; $180,600 in 4 years

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Final Analysis

While Northlake College is the cheapest, it does not offer four year degrees and should only be used for those trying to get an associate's degree.


For those seeking a four year degree, UT Austin is the cheapest university. However, private universities offer significant benefits such as smaller class sizes (Princeton has a student to faculty ratio of 6:1 while UT Austin has a student to faculty ratio of 18:1), better name recognition, and better job placement.


In addition, Princeton has an average salary after 10 years of $137,000. UT has an average salary after 10 years of $97,200 and SMU has an average salary after 10 years of $93,500. (Disclaimer: These numbers can be misleading because UT and SMU offer more majors that may be less lucrative in the long run.)


For those that can afford it, Princeton is the best school to attend. If money is an issue, then UT Austin is the best choice. SMU seems to be too expensive while offering minimal benefits and Northlake College is only suitable for those seeking a 2 year degree.

How Can You Pay for College?

1. Loans - Both private companies and banks such as Discover or Wells Fargo offer loans to students. Furthermore, the government offers loans to lower income families at low interest rates.

2. Grants - The government gives plenty of money to families who are not able to afford college.

3. The Federal Work Study program - This is a federally funded program in the United States that assists students with the costs of post-secondary education. This helps students earn financial funding through a part-time work program.

4. Merit Scholarships - Qualified and deserving students can earn financial aid by entering competitions for university sponsored scholarships or corporate scholarships.