The Price of Private College

So not everyone believes me about private colleges, particularly small private colleges – the sticker price is not what you usually pay. Many people decide the price of private college is just out of their reach and a public is the only way to go. What most don’t think about is priviate colleges have to compete with the publics, therefore, their prices have to be competative too.

But the price says it is $44,000!!! First, you have to consider where those costs are and second, you have to realize tuition costs are rarely not discounted at private colleges. Below are NC State and Campbell University (I apologize the data is not perfect with differing years are because Campbell hasn’t yet updated their costs); I have included tuition, fees, room, and board, but I have not included personal expenses or books as those numbers can vary significantly. If you look there is a significant difference in tuition and fees, but if you add up room and board – the cost is less at Campbell with a small savings of $149.

NC State 2019-2020Campbell 2018-2019
Tuition and Fees910032500
Room 67145390

Now take a look at the discounting done for at Campbell (data from 2017-2018 from CollegeData):

Number of Freshmen Enrolled
Financial Aid Applicants707 (91%)
Number Found To Have Need530 (75%) of Applicants
Number Recieved Aid530 (100%)
Fully Met Aid182 (34%)
Average Percent of Need Met 79%
Average Award$29,970
Merit-Based Gift of those with no financial need$19,067

If we look at just the merit-based gifts of those with no financial need, the cost of tuition at Campbell University is $13,433. Big difference from the sticker shock of $32,500.

Now, merit-based gifts are not just the top achieving students. This is where your student must put their best foot forward on their application. They must pick a school that matches their academic profile so that they are a top student for that school. And finally, they must interact with that school by attending events and showing interest in the school (yes, this matters).

To give you further evidence, I have included an article from Inside Higher Ed Article which talks about the practice of discounting tuition.

Want to talk more about this? Let’s set up a time to chat.