What does 'tuition' mean for colleges? Is it what you pay for all four years or annually?
College or university tuition is defined as the instruction fees students must pay for attendance. This does not include room and board, books, supplies, or other fees. Although tuition is generally billed by quarters or semesters, it is usually presented in catalogs as a yearly annual total amount due to attend.
For example, tuition (attendance/instruction fee) at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the 2012-2013 school year is $37,576. A Health Services fee, a Student Services fee, and room and board costs tacked on makes the total bill for the school year a whopping $54,496.
Resident tuition and fees for public 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. currently average around $8,244 a year, while tuition and fees for out-of-state students at the same institutions is about $20,770 a year. States likes Arizona, Washington State, Georgia, Nevada, and California have experienced between a 65.8% and a 101.7% increase in in-state student tuition and fees over the past 5 years.