Completing your bachelor’s degree in six years instead of four could cost you nearly $300,000 when factoring in tuition, loan interest and forgone income and retirement savings, according to a new study from NerdWallet.
NerdWallet calculated both real costs and opportunity costs to determine how much an extra year or two in college would cost the average student at public and private institutions. Real costs included out-of-pocket tuition and the interest paid on student loans over a standard repayment period of 10 years. Opportunity costs factored in forgone entry-level income as well as retirement savings compounded over 45 years, based on standard annual returns.
Here’s what the study found:
Taking one extra year to complete a bachelor’s degree would cost:
Taking two extra years to complete a bachelor’s degree would cost:
To learn more about NerdWallet’s results and methodology, read the full study.
Anna Helhoski is a staff writer at NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @AnnaHelhoski.