Total Pageviews

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Which School is Cheaper?

The posted prices of the schools are often not what a given family actually pays for a student to attend that university.  Scholarships and grants and tuition reductions change that figure.

Here is an example which shows clearly that you can't really decide a school is too expensive by looking at its listed costs.
On Harvard's website, the net calculator shows that a family of four with a $130,000 annual income could qualify for as much as a $39,750 scholarship for the undergrad program. That reduces the $56,750 for freshman tuition, room and board at Harvard to $17,000.

At California State University in Los Angeles, the cost of tuition, room board and other fees is a mere $21,335 per year.   However, that same family of four making $130,000 wouldn't qualify for any aid, according to their calculator.  

Consequently, for this sample family, Harvard could well cost less than CSU-Los Angeles.  Granted, if they are California resident, travel to Massachusetts will likely be more expensive than travel to LA.  The education received and the friends made will be significantly different, however.

Net calculators only provide estimates.  Those which ask numerous questions have been shown to be fairly accurate.

It pays to do your homework!  Evaluate your potential schools' estimated net costs BEFORE you apply.  If you need help, search here to find a certified college planning specialist in your area.  I work with students all over the USA so can be a resource for you as well.  

Katherine O'Brien, MA CCPS
Celtic College Consultants
Based in San Diego, serving families across the USA

No comments:

Post a Comment