Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

El Centro College tuition is $1,770 per year for in-district residents. This is 40% cheaper than the national average public two year in-district tuition of $2,965. The cost is 55% cheaper than the average Texas in-district tuition of $3,933 for 2 year colleges. Tuition ranks 38th in Texas amongst 2 year colleges for affordability and is the 35th most expensive 2 year college in the state.

Housing Costs

El Centro College doesn't offer on campus housing. If you're not living with family you will need to budget for food and housing in the Dallas area just like you would for a college with dorms. The estimated rent and meal expense per academic year for off campus housing is $9,945.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $2,000.

Other Living Expenses

Off-campus students should budget for $3,456 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-district residents to go to El Centro College is $17,171 for the 2017/2018 academic year. The total cost for in-state, but not in district residents is $18,731. Out-of-state students who don't possess Texas residence can expect a one year cost of $20,621. Students residing at home with parents providing food and housing can expect a total cost of $8,786.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for El Centro College and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for El Centro College
Estimated Budgets
In-District Resident Total Budget (Living Off Campus)$17,171
   In-District Tuition$1,770
   Other Fees$0
   Off-Campus Other Budget$3,456
   Books and Supplies$2,000
   Off-Campus Housing Estimate$9,945
In-District Resident Total Budget (Living with Parents)$7,226
   In-District Tuition$1,770
   Other Fees$0
   Family Provided Room and Board$0
   With-Family Other Living Budget$3,456
   Books and Supplies$2,000
Texas Out of District Total Budget (Living Off Campus)$18,731
   In-State Tuition$3,330
   Other Fees$0
   Off-Campus Housing Estimate$9,945
   Off-Campus Other Budget$3,456
   Books and Supplies$2,000
Texas Out of District Total Budget (Living with Parents)$8,786
   In-State Tuition$3,330
   Other Fees$0
   Family Provided Room and Board$0
   With-Family Other Living Budget$3,456
   Books and Supplies$2,000


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $18,731 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported El Centro College net price for in-state students is $5,795* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

78% of El Centro College students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $5,422. 73 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,891. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend El Centro College, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for El Centro College
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$5,795*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid78%
Average Total Grant Aid$5,422
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants73%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,891

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$6,333
$30,001 to $48,000$6,498
$48,001 to $75,000$8,388
$75,001 to $110,000$11,260

Average Financial Aid Mix - $18,731 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $18,731. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 35% - $5,422

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, El Centro College or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 31% - $4,699

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 34% -  $5,154

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Community Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. El Centro College
Mountain View College0% less expensive
Eastfield College0% less expensive
Brookhaven College0% less expensive
Cedar Valley College0% less expensive
North Lake College0% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

Being a school offering two year programs, prospective students should consider the multi year outlay when budgeting the cost for two years at El Centro College.

Estimated 2 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 2 year associate degree at El Centro College is $37,462 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 2 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $4,440 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 2 would estimate the cost of a degree at $8,880**

**Based on a 2 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at El Centro College.

Texas Resident Tuition Per Semester$1,665
Texas Resident Total Cost Per Semester$9,366
Non-Texas Resident Tuition Per Semester$2,610
Non-Texas Resident Total Cost Per Semester$10,310

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at El Centro College are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at El Centro College
Price per credit hour for in district residents$59
Cost for one class for in district residents (3 credit hours)$177
Price per credit hour for Texas residents$111
Cost for one class for Texas residents (3 credit hours)$333
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$174
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$522
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$696


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 18% of El Centro College students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $4,699.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for El Centro College? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $8,880, 100% of the estimated average net price for a two year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $11,018.04. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at El Centro College. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 78% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $4,440. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our El Centro College student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

El Centro College Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$91.82
Amount Borrowed$8,880.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$2,138.04
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$11,018.04

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend El Centro College? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending El Centro College, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $11,018.04 would be needed to afford a $91.82 monthly payment in the example $8,880.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to El Centro College in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $2,490 to $3,330. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 6.7%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 2 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 2 year cost of $37,462.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for El Centro College.

Annual2 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$24,504$49,007
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$31,274$62,547
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $39,914$79,828
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $46,205$92,411

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at El Centro College to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Associate's Degree 304 2% costlier
General Studies Associate's Degree 133 2% cheaper
Legal Assistant/Paralegal Associate's Degree 58 2% costlier
Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer and Ultrasound Technician Associate's Degree 23 5% costlier
Culinary Arts/Chef Training Associate's Degree 18 1% costlier
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer Associate's Degree 17 6% costlier
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist Associate's Degree 15 6% costlier
Fashion/Apparel Design Associate's Degree 10 20% cheaper
Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef Associate's Degree 10 16% cheaper
Interior Design Associate's Degree 9 2% cheaper
Accounting Associate's Degree 8 2% costlier
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician Associate's Degree 7 12% costlier
Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist Associate's Degree 7 5% cheaper
Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications Associate's Degree 5 9% costlier
Business Administration and Management, General Associate's Degree 5 5% cheaper
Business/Commerce, General Associate's Degree 4 7% cheaper
Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 4 8% costlier
Early Childhood Education and Teaching Associate's Degree 4 8% costlier
Executive Assistant/Executive Secretary Associate's Degree 3 18% costlier
Apparel and Accessories Marketing Operations Associate's Degree 2 31% costlier
Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician Associate's Degree 2 14% costlier
Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 2 16% costlier
Computer Programming/Programmer, General Associate's Degree 1 11% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for El Centro College or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford El Centro College in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a El Centro College student loan.

Prepayment Option

About El Centro College

El Centro College is a two year community college located in Dallas, Texas.  Full time enrollment is 1,398 and part time is 9,352.  El Centro College has an open admission policy meaning that any prospective student who has completed high school or attained a GED certificate may enroll in classes.

Only undergraduate degrees are offered at this school.

El Centro College
801 Main Street
Dallas, Texas

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

El Centro College is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

El Centro College cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=224615 IPEDS survey data.