$40K-$60K is pretty much what colleges end up charging as their "sticker price." Tuition is only part of the equation.
Federal law controls the minimum stuff that has to be calculated in the cost of attendance. The law is at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/20/1087ll. It basically includes:
The information regarding all of these costs should be available on each college's web page.
"Net price" can be very different from sticker prices. The Federal government gives us citizens (and the general public) a good look at the net price through two websites: the College Scorecard and and the College Navigator sites. Both web sites pull from the same data source, so you don't have to search both.
But remember that the devil is often in the details. Some colleges have very similar net price for all students, while others have significantly different net price based on the student's family income. You can find a general idea of your net price by drilling down on the detail under costs, where both sites show the average cost by family income.
If you would like to see your likely net costs for a particular college, you can go to the college's website and search for the "net price calculator." The page will ask for a few specifics about your family finances, and the college will return a net price, either online or in the mail. This is a great exercise to understand where you will start out financially. Then with a terrific application, you may be able to "beat" the net price by earning scholarships that drive down your personal cost to attend that college.
As always, feel free to contact me if you believe my services can help your student navigate this exciting time of life.
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