Costs aren’t rising at private colleges

Posted on October 28th, 2013

Would you believe us if we told you that college costs aren’t actually rising?

Despite the recent hype over rising college costs, the net price of a private college education has remained the same over the past decade, according to a new study from The College Board published in the New York Times.

Net prices at private colleges remain stable

The amount that students actually pay after grants, scholarships and other financial aid (the “net price“) for the average student at a private, nonprofit college is about $23,000 this year. While tuition has increased across the board at most private institutions, this net cost has remained about the same for the past 10 years.

This works out to about 57 percent of the sticker price of a private non-profit college, down from 68 percent in 2003-4.

And while it may be difficult to believe, the inflation-adjusted net price for tuition and fees alone at private colleges is actually lower than it was a decade ago.

Public and for-profit college costs on the rise

But these stable trends only apply to private colleges, unfortunately.

The net prices at public colleges have risen significantly in order to make up for the reduced amount of state aid they have received since the last recession.

And for-profit private university net costs have also risen over the past decade.

Ignore sticker price when choosing a college

While college remains an expensive investment, it’s comforting to know that costs remain stable at private universities.

Studies like these are a reminder that it’s important to look beyond a school’s sticker price when choosing a college.

We work with many families who assumed they could only afford to send their student to a public school, and we’ve helped them find private colleges that turn out to be much cheaper than public colleges after financial aid.

If you’re interested in finding a quality college that your family can afford, don’t be afraid to reach out to Rick and Andy at or call us at 1-888-234-3907.

Category: College Costs

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