Lesson 6: College Costs for Students Who Are Blind or Low Vision

Key Considerations

When you decide to go to college or career school, you are making a financial commitment to pay for the education or training you receive. Unlike high school, your post-secondary education will be your financial responsibility. Being aware of and understanding the costs can help you select an affordable school as well as prepare a plan for paying for tuition (the price charged for classes) and other expenses associated with furthering your education as a blind or low vision student.

According to Admissionly, $10,440 is the average in-state tuition for a public four-year college, $26,820 is the average out-of-state tuition to attend a public four-year college, and $36,880 is the average tuition to attend a private four-year college.”
Attending a public two-year college is less expensive than attending a state college or university. The College Board estimated the yearly tuition and fees for one year as $4,816.

Career school is significantly more affordable than attending college. Tuition and fees vary based on the program and length. For example, a student attending Pinellas Technical College for the Medical Coder/Biller Program will pay approximately $5,014 in tuition for 1,110 hours of training.

As you begin researching colleges or career schools you would like to attend, gather additional facts about the costs and explore options for potentially decreasing those costs. Because the cost of tuition and fees vary by college, some are more affordable than others and shopping around could help you make a cost-effective decision. Another way to decrease college expenses is to earn college credit while in high school by enrolling in dual credit for college or by taking Advanced Placement classes. Both options are often paid for by your high school.

The next lesson, Lesson 7: Paying for College, will guide you in researching the various funding options to assist you with paying for college or career school as a student who is blind or low vision.

Assignment #1

Become acquainted with the cost of attending school by researching information about tuition and fees for the following:

  1. A community college located near your home
  2. An in-state college or university
  3. An out-of-state college or university
  4. A private college
  5. A career school

Assignment #2

In addition to paying for tuition and fees, there are other costs associated with attending college. This typically includes room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation.

According to the admissions office at Florida State University (FSU), the estimated cost for a student attending FSU for one year (fall and spring semester, 15 hours per semester) cost an in-state student $18,064 and an out-of-state student $33,231. The estimate for an in-state student includes:

  • Tuition and fees: $6,516
  • Housing: $6,550
  • Books and supplies: $1,000
  • Meal plan: $3,998

Career school charges a tuition fee, and the programs and courses are also subject to additional fees, which may require payment for the following:

  • Nonrefundable application/processing fee
  • ID card
  • Books, tools, and supplies
  • Laboratory fees
  • Equipment and facility usage fees
  • Graduation fees
  • Uniforms (as required by program)
  • Certification or licensure exam assessments (as required by program)

Create a mock budget to estimate and compare the costs associated with attending two of the following:

  1. A community college located near your home
  2. An in-state college or university
  3. An out-of-state college or university
  4. A private college
  5. A career school

Cite the website or reference where you obtained the estimated costs so you can access it at a later date.

Institution 1
ItemEstimated CostReference
Tuition and Fees
Housing
Meals
Books
Supplies
Transportation
Personal Expenses
Miscellaneous Expenses
Institution 2
ItemEstimated CostReference
Tuition and Fees
Housing
Meals
Books
Supplies
Transportation
Personal Expenses
Miscellaneous Expenses
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