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By George Mannes and Turner Cowles
August 3, 2015

We asked people in Times Square, “What’s your best advice for a freshman going off to college?” The people we asked gave a mixed bag of answers. Going of to college is both scary and liberating, but there are some things you should know. One thing we heard over and over again was that college is incredibly expensive, and a lot of people’s advice flowed from there. With the College Board estimating the average college cost for a public school in America at $12,830 per year, it’s no surprise.

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Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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