It Isn’t the Sticker Price of the College That Is Important, It Is the Actual Price.
The stated cost of attendance at many private colleges is often higher than what you’ll see for public colleges but that isn’t the whole story. On the contrary, many private colleges can be a real bargain once they apply all the different sources of funds they have available to a student’s financial aid package.
Things to Remember When Comparing Public and Private Colleges
- Know the College Financial Track Records
- Personalize Affordability to Get a Better Picture of Actual Cost
- Apply to a Mix of Public and Private Schools with Generous Financial Track Records
Know the College Financial Track Records
Many schools will tell you what percentage of students receives financial aid or the average number of financial aid dollars received, but these numbers don’t tell you a lot. For one, as long as a family fills out the FAFSA form correctly, they are virtually guaranteed to qualify for financial aid in the form of a Stafford loan. And two, since financial aid is highly dependent on each student’s situation, averages are not a good indicator of what you can expect in financial aid assistance from the school. A college’s financial track record – reflected in our affordability rating – is the one thing you should focus on when trying to determine which schools will be more cost-effective.
Personalize Affordability to Get a Better Picture of Actual Cost
As we mentioned earlier, the amount of financial aid offered to you is highly dependent on your particular situation. In order to get a better picture of how affordable a particular school is for you, visit our Tools and Calculators page to personalize your affordability. Once you’ve personalized your affordability, you will have a much better picture of which colleges or universities are the most cost-effective for you.
Apply to a Mix of Public and Private Schools with Generous Financial Track Records
Both private and public schools have a lot to offer attending students and it is in your best interest to research each type. To ensure you consider the best higher education opportunities for you, you should choose a good mix of state and private schools to which you are going to apply.