Tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, personal expenses. At first, these combined costs may seem overwhelming. They don’t have to be. With some planning and the willingness to investigate different schools, scholarships, grants, and bursaries, the cost of attending college or university can be more manageable than you might think. As a starting point for your research, here are the typical tuition costs for an economics degree.

average yearly tuition as per the most recent US census data
$ 11,408 per year
Average in-state tuition in 2017

36% above average compared to other degrees

$ 30,252 per year
Average out-of-state tuition in 2017

51% above average compared to other degrees

$ 47,456 per year
Average private tuition in 2017

47% above average compared to other degrees

What do economics graduates earn?

Economics students make an average of $101,313 per year after graduation. This is 52% above average compared to other undergraduate degrees.

18% of economics graduates are underpaid (those who make less than $40,000 per year.) This rate is low compared to other degrees across the country.

$ 101,313 per year
Average graduate salary in 2017

Top 95% of degrees

% of people underpaid in 2019

9% below average compared to other degrees

Tuition costs for popular economics schools in the US

There are 1506 schools in the US that offer a economics degree. The economics schools in the nation with the highest enrollment are University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Diego and University of California-Irvine. Here's a breakdown of tuition costs for the schools that award the most degrees in economics per year:

School NameIn-State Tuition
University of California-Los Angeles$13,261
University of California-San Diego$14,018
University of California-Irvine$13,738
University of California-Berkeley$14,170
University of California-Santa Barbara$14,451
University of California-Davis$14,419
New York University$50,464
California State University-Long Beach$6,730
San Diego State University$7,460
Boston University$52,082

Top US schools for an economics degree

The following chart lists the most prestigious schools offering economics degrees, along with their average acceptance rate and tuition costs:

School NameAcceptance RateIn-State Tuition
Stanford University5%$49,617
Harvard University5%$48,949
Columbia University in the City of New York7%$57,208
Yale University7%$51,400
California Institute of Technology8%$49,908
Pomona College8%$51,075
United States Naval Academy8%$null
Brown University8%$53,419
University of Chicago9%$56,034
Northwestern University9%$52,678

Cheapest US schools for an economics degree

Of the schools in the US that offer an economics degree, the following have the lowest tuition costs:

School NameTuition
American River College$1,104
Cosumnes River College$1,104
Copper Mountain Community College$1,112
Antelope Valley College$1,124
Lassen Community College$1,127
Chabot College$1,138
Fullerton College$1,138
Compton College$1,142
El Camino Community College District$1,142
Irvine Valley College$1,142


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