How Much Does College Cost Anyway?
As you research colleges, it's essential to distinguish between a college's published
cost of attendance,
or "sticker price," and the net cost of college that you (or your family) will pay
out of pocket. Your net cost of college is equal to a college's published cost of
attendance minus any grants and scholarships ("free money" aid) that you receive.
Eligibility for grants and scholarships varies significantly by program. This means
that trying to evaluate your net cost of college without taking into account your
personal circumstances can be very imprecise.
Your net cost of college can be significantly less than the published cost of attendance.
You may find that a college with a high published cost of attendance may be more
affordable than you think!
More than $227 billion of student aid was available for the 2010–2011 academic
year, and even more is expected to be available to students for the 2012–2013 academic
year! Here's a breakdown of the
types of aid available.
Remember, competition for student aid is fierce. You will need to put in time and
maximize your financial aid awards.
Get started by learning how the
student aid process