Don’t let the college sticker price fool you


When I remark to families that my students were offered $40K to $64K in scholarships, they are often surprised! Yes, I may boast about our results 🙂 . . . . but the point of my statement is to let families know that most college students pay less than the sticker price. That’s an especially important point for high school juniors who are researching and developing their college list. Do not be deterred by the sticker price.

There are so many scholarships and other funds available from the colleges that significantly reduce the price. Check out these findings:

Among full-time, first-time, degree- or certificate-seeking undergraduate students in the 2010-11 academic year:

4-year public institution:

Average price before aid: $17,600

Net price, after subtracting grant aid: $11,000

4-year private, nonprofit:

Average price: $34,000

Net price: $19,800

via College Students Often Pay Less Than Sticker Price – College Bound – Education Week.

In my recent talk with the Dayton Association of Tax Preparations, I shared the calculation for determining financial need. Every college determines “need” differently. So, even in cases where your family may have a higher income, the fact that you have additional children or private school tuition can all play a role in whether the college determines you have “need.” The other truth of the matter is that colleges want to recruit certain students. They may offer scholarships to a student in order to attract them to accept an offer of admission . . . which has nothing to do with whether that family can afford to pay or not.


Ohio University: A tale of Parties and Poverty

Last year, Ohio University was ranked as the number one Party school by Princeton. There was little evidence of the party atmosphere during my visit:

The town of Athens was quite charming, filled with restaurants and shops. Even though I visited during the summer, there were many students on campus, current undergraduates as well as high schoolers. The campus and curriculum seemed to have a lot to offer.

via Top 3 Concerns when applying to a Party School.

Interestingly, the latest news from Athens is that the town is the poorest city in Ohio with a 16.6% unemployment rate, as reported in the Dayton Business Journal.

Ohio University is located in Athens, Ohio
Ohio University is located in Athens, Ohio

This announcement may cause some discomfort for families planning to enroll, which is understandable. As students consider their decision to enroll, there is still a lot that the university has to offer given its size and facilities. Perhaps this awareness of the town’s employment context may open more opportunities for students to serve in the community and for the university to seek ways that they can collaborate and bolster the community.