How Much Does Dietitian School Cost?

If you are interested in helping people make healthy eating choices, you’re probably interested in pursuing a career as a dietitian. At the least, you would need a bachelor’s degree to qualify as registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) so planning for the cost of a four-year degree should be one of the things that you should take very seriously.

How much you spend for dietitian school will depend on whether you will obtain your degree from a public or private institution. Going to public school in your state is going to be cheaper since you will get to avail of in-state tuition discounts. Private schools, on the other hand, charge the same tuition and fees to all students. Aside from tuition and other fees, the other costs that you should consider are books, supplies, housing and food.

A bachelor’s degree in dietetics, the most common educational preparation for this career, can cost a little over $32,000 annually for the out-of-state student. However, the yearly cost for tuition and fees, room and board and books and supplies can vary widely, ranging from about $13,000 to about $50,000. At the Idaho State University, for example, the cost for in-state students is $15,624 and $27,956 for out-of-state students. The cost is a bit more expensive at the University of Northern Colorado where in-state students have to shell out $18,252 a year while out-of-state students need to spend $29,692 annually. Florida State University also has a popular program in dietetics. In-state students pay $17,419 a year for this bachelor’s degree while out-of-state students have to allocate $31,863 each year.

As far as private schools go, here’s a sampling of the annual costs to get a bachelor’s degree in dietetics: In Meredith College in North Carolina, the yearly costs of tuition and fees, books and supplies and room and board is $40,078 while in Marywood University in Pennsylvania, it is $45,256. Obtaining a dietetics degree at Simmons College in Massachusetts is a bit more expensive at $50,060 a year.

These costs haven’t factored in your transportation expenses yet, especially if you’re living some distance away from the school and/or your internship location as well as the other personal expenses you’ll need to spend money on as a college student. You can take care of these expenses by finding a part-time job while you’re working towards getting your degree.

Another way to help you fund your college degree is to get financial aid. Many students are able to substantially lower the cost of their tuition and other fees through scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid. You can also avail of student loans if you need help funding your tuition but you need to make sure that you are able to pay off these loans in the future. Another strategy that would substantially lower your college costs is to find a school close to where you live and stay with your family while you’re working towards your degree—with your parents’ approval, of course. This would largely minimize the expenses associated with having to rent a house or buy your own groceries.

Finishing dietitian school can be tough on the pockets but with proper financial planning and budgeting, you should be able to complete your degree in four years.

Career Spotlight: Dietitian

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