Private colleges offer record-high tuition discounts

Posted on May 27th, 2016

While it’s no secret that college costs are rising, financial aid has been increasing too, providing more opportunities for students to take advantage of discounts at expensive private colleges, MONEY reports.

According to The National Association of College and University Business Officers’ annual survey of tuition discount rates, the average freshman student at a private college only paid about 50% of the college’s published tuition and fees last year, with colleges giving students an average of $0.49 on the dollar in grants as a discount.

Only 1 in 10 students pays full price for college

While college’s discount rates have been increasing rapidly, this figure represents a record high discount. In the early 1990s, colleges only offered students about 26 cents on the dollar as a discount.

private college discount rate graph

For the 2015-16 academic year, private colleges gave freshmen an average discount rate of 48.6% off their tuition, a record high.

The report also found that only about 1 in 10 students paid full sticker price for their private college, making the published cost of attendance for colleges increasingly irrelevant.

This is great news for families who are concerned that they won’t be able to afford college after viewing their sticker prices. As we’ve written previously, you should apply to colleges regardless of your ability to pay sticker price, since you never know how much it’ll actually cost until you receive your financial aid package.

Once you’ve applied for financial aid, you’ll be able to compare colleges by net price, which is the true price you’ll pay after financial aid, grants, and scholarships.

And the more financial aid offers you have in hand, the more leverage you’ll have to negotiate a better offer.

Always apply for financial aid

This study also shows why it’s important to fill out the FAFSA and apply for financial aid, even if you think you won’t qualify because of your income or other factors.

Even middle class and high-income families can receive financial aid, and many colleges (and private colleges in particular) offer merit aid for students based on academics or other achievements.

If you need help figuring out affordable options for college and how to pay for it, we can help. We have over 40 years experience in the college financing industry and can work with you to help you reduce your college costs and get the most financial aid possible.

Give us a call at 1-888-234-3907 or contact us here and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Category: Financial Aid

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