Don't Let Sticker Shock Turn You Away From Your Dream Private College
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Student Life

Don't Let Sticker Shock Turn You Away From Your Dream Private College

Why private colleges aren't always as expensive as they seem

Don't Let Sticker Shock Turn You Away From Your Dream Private College

You've finally done it. You've been scanning through those college search engines for hours, and you find what seems to be the perfect college. You love the look of the campus, it has the majors you are interested in, the reviews are great, the food is supposedly spectacular. Everything looks amazing... until you look at tuition and your jaw drops. It costs $42,000 a year. You could buy two new cars with that amount of money -- maybe even three if they were on the cheaper side. And that's just in a single year. So really, instead of going to college, you could buy yourself twelve new cars. Twelve. Instantly, you are disappointed, and after searching around more you find that many private institutions all appear the same and are almost double the cost of a public in-state institution. You ask yourself, "How does anyone afford a private college?" "Are that many people actually that rich?" Many people are out there like you and don't apply to private colleges that would be great matches for them because of the perceived cost. I know how you feel, because I felt the same way, Trust me. I, the girl with two parents as teachers, never thought that private colleges could still be an option for me. And that's why I'm here to tell you not to give up on your private college dream just yet, and here's why.

That sticker price that you saw on their website is the maximum amount a person could pay to attend, but often works to their disadvantage, since it causes them to be overlooked. Each applicant's financial package is adjusted according to a variety of factors, both financial and academic, and can greatly reduce the net price that the student and their family are expected to pay. Private colleges give a lot more financial aid than state institutions, which are funded by state governments -- especially if you have pretty good grades. Oftentimes this will bring their tuition down to very close to the cost of public institutions, sometimes to the point where they can actually become cheaper. Private colleges can give you $15-20,000+ a year, cutting their initial cost in half. Public colleges also generally have a lot less scholarships to offer then private colleges, which is another important factor in lessening the cost.

If you want to calculate how much a college would likely offer you, you can find a net price calculator on each school's website where you fill in financial and academic information and it estimates your package. It is important to note that this is before scholarships, grants, etc.

I'm not saying that private colleges are always cheaper in the end. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. Each person's packages will be different. But hopefully, if you found that dream private college, you don't feel that it is too out of reach anymore. And whatever choice you make in the end, hopefully it is one you are happy with.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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