The Right Guidance for College and Career Success: Maximizing Your Educational Investment

Knowing the costs of college is one part of selecting a college. ForwarDirections helps our families learn how to plan for college costs through scholarships, grants and other financial aid.


ForwarDirections counselors guide students and their parents in understanding college costs to help them minimize debt. It is important to note that less than 20% of students graduate from college in 4 years and in the CSU system, just 21% of students graduate. Our guidance helps students be intentional about their college plans so they are able to graduate college within 4 years. The chart below shows a comparison between different types of California colleges.

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 Community College
California State University (CSU)University of California (UC)Private (e.g. Stanford)
Tuition and Fees$1,400$6,500$14,000$49,000
Room and Board
(on campus or rental)
Other Expenses$3,000$3,000$3,000$3,000
One Year Total$19,400$27,500$36,500$69,500
Four Year Total$77,600$110,000$146,000$278,000
Six Year Total$116,400$165,000$219,000$417,000

– Costs verified in 2017

Every college has a net price calculator that estimates college costs.

Two other tools to calculate college costs can be found here and here.