Today, it costs an average of $22,700 to attend one year at a public college and $51,700 at a private college. When you add up four or more years per child, college can quickly become one of a family’s largest expenses. And the younger a child is today, the more it will likely cost due to annual price increases. For example, four years of private college are estimated to cost $95,000 more for a current newborn than for a four-year-old. Key takeaway: A strong college investment plan starts with a clear understanding of future costs.