Just the thought of today's college tuition prices is enough to make a parent's palms sweaty at best and induce full panic at worst. However,even with college prices soaring, the vast majority of students receive at least some type of financial aid. The links to the left provide an overview of the different types of financial aid that are available (scholarships, grants, loans, other aid) and an overview of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Additionally, it is important to know the differences between sticker price and affordability.It's easy to automatically rule out a school due to the "sticker price" but that is often a mistake. Financial aid packages are very difficult to anticipate and can vary widely from college to college,even for the same exact student.
Many students have found that a private school was more affordable for them than a public school due to the financial aid package they received at the private school. Or they may have received a scholarship at one school that they didn't at another. It is recommended to apply to financial target, reach and safety schools. This way, students have multiple options instead of just one or two. However, choosing a school is at least in part a family decision. B esure to keep communication open about school options and finances.
- College Board Trends in College Pricing - report that includes data through 2013-14 from the College Board's Annual Survey of Colleges. Provides information on changes over time in undergraduate tuition and fees, room and board, and other estimated expenses. Focuses on net prices that students actually pay after taking grant aid into consideration.
- Net price calculator - a tool that you can use to estimate your "net price" to attend a particular college or university. Net price is the difference between the "sticker" price (full cost) to attend a specific college, minus any grants and scholarships for which you may be eligible. Sticker price includes direct charges (tuition and fees, room and board) and indirect costs (books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses).
- For more information about sticker price and affordability, visit affordablecollegesonline.org
General Financial Aid Links