Not every degree is created equal. Cost breakdown by geographic region in the US helps us understand why.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
It's clear how much more it will cost to earn a degree at a public, four-year US university in the East Coast than the others.
Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, we compiled the average annual tuition fees as well as cost for room and board in each US state. From this dataset, we calculated the average cost according to region, as classified by the US Census Bureau.
Data in the chart above show that Southern and Western US states are less expensive than the Northeast states, with both regions charging roughly the same for international students (who fall under the out-of-state fee group). And as for the most affordable region, it's the Midwest (US$22,813.27 compared to US$26,817.47 at the Northeast states).
The bad news (for those unjustifiably obsessed with rankings, at least) is that almost all of the top 10 US universities are not located here. According to two of the most respected sources in global college rankings - QS and Times Higher Education - they are all set in Northeastern states, save for the University of Chicago.