How to calculate tuition per credit hour

College tuition isn’t one flat rate, there are also taxes and additional fees rolled into that sum.

Your tuition is going to be assessed based on how many credit hours you enroll in each semester. If you take a 3-credit course, that is usually 3 credit hours, and if you enroll in 5 courses per semester, that’s 15 credit hours total.

So, how do you calculate your tuition costs per credit hour? The national average credit hour is around $600 ($1800 for a 3 credit course). Here’s what that breaks down to:

$600 per credit hour x 15 total credit hours (for 5 classes) = $9,000 tuition for the credit hours

Here’s a breakdown of the national average cost per credit hour based on school types:

  • 4-yr public school: $325 per credit hour
  • 2-yr public school: $135 per credit hour
  • 4-yr private school: $1,039 per credit hour
  • 4-yr for-profit school: $647 per credit hour

Your school’s admissions office should be able to tell you the specific cost per credit hour of your courses. You might even be able to find the information on the school’s website or course catalog. The cost will vary from school to school, but the math will remain the same, so remember:

Cost per credit hour x total credit hours = estimated tuition cost

Schools have their own fees and taxes that get assessed in addition to your tuition, so it’s important to ask questions to find out what those extra fees add up to. Some schools even have a tuition cost calculator available online you can use to help figure out costs with those additional fees. Your best resource will be your school’s admissions or financial aid office for getting a specific cost breakdown.