Oct 5, 2023 - Education

Boston college tuition cost ranked one of the highest in U.S.

Median college tuition in the Boston metro area
Data: National Center for Education Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Boston is not only one of the biggest college towns in the country, but it also has the second-costliest average tuition.

Why it matters: The rising cost of higher education affects thousands of Boston-area college students years after they graduate, especially those who will soon see federal student loan payments resume next month.

Driving the news: The metro area's median college tuition price in the 2021-22 academic year reached $39,649, a 6.6% increase from the 2018-19 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

  • Greater Boston's median tuition rate comes in second among metro areas in the nation only to the Worcester metro area, which includes Connecticut.
  • Worcester saw its median tuition increase by 6.2% to $40,208 in 2021-22.

By the numbers: If those prices sound low to some of you, it's because it averages public and private colleges.

  • Median tuition at Boston-area private colleges reached $43,062 in 2021-22, up 8.2% from 2018-19.
  • The same year, median tuition at public colleges was $14,200, up 7.6% from 2018-19.

Zoom out: One of the nation's most expensive institutions is Tufts University, which charged $66,358 this year — climbing to upwards of $88,300 when including housing and other fees.

  • Wellesley College isn't far off. It charged $64,000 for tuition and $88,291 when including housing and other fees.

But, but, but: None of the baseline median tuition figures takes into account room and board, books and other expenses college students incur in a high-cost city.

What we're watching: Massachusetts officials have created free alternatives for college students, in hopes of making higher education more accessible and reducing the skills gap that has contributed to widespread worker shortages.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Boston.

More Boston stories