While many high school seniors (and their parents) are now in the wait-and-see period of college applications, juniors and sophomores (and their parents) are somewhere in the extended continuum of figuring out which colleges to put on their long lists. Given the ever-increasing amount of funds required for college, many families put the Cost of Attendance high on their list of criteria.
This recent article in our local paper covered some important points to consider: That college may not be out of your range after all. Written by Jonathan West, director of the College Funding Group, LLC out of Richmond, VA, the article presents Mr. West’s data from running Net Price Calculators for public and private colleges in Virginia. He emphasizes the need to determine a college’s real (or net) price and offers these important points:
- “Ignore the sticker prices. Twenty-one out of 25 schools offered some discount.”
- “Private colleges are not as expensive as you might think.” Net prices brought the public-private cost difference down to $2500.
- “Merit aid is available for families with higher incomes, too.”
- “Your teen does not need to be at the head of her class to get merit aid.”
Here’s the net-net:
What are the most expensive and least expensive colleges in Virginia? The answers are Washington and Lee and Washington and Lee.
The print version of the article included Mr. West’s data, including assumptions used in the calculators. Since the online version doesn’t, here’s a link to his website, which provides it in pdf form. Here’s a screenshot of the figures:
Have you run any Net Price Cacluators? If the cost of college is high on the list of college criteria, we need to do our homework to make sure we’re considering the college net cost instead of the sticker price.
- College Financial Aid Myths (drstrangecollege.wordpress.com)
- Wednesday Weekly Reader: Community Colleges and more (drstrangecollege.wordpress.com)