Discussing money can be an uncomfortable topic even for adults, but it's important to have a sit down with your student about paying for college so they have a better idea of what college costs as well as how and who will be paying for it.
Start with the basics
The cost of college is more than just tuition and required fees. There’s also room and board (that is, housing and food for the academic year), books and supplies needed for classes, living expenses and transportation expenses to get to and from the college. This is commonly referred to as the cost of attendance. There also may be additional student fees that need to be factored in.
Net price vs. listed price
This is often where families get confused, but it's vital that you understand the difference. When you see the cost for one academic year posted on a college's website, don't assuming that is what you will pay. Only a small percentage of students — generally those from the wealthiest families — pay the full amount. Most students benefit from financial aid as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA).
Using a number of factors (not just income), the FAFSA estimates how much need-based aid each student is eligible to receive. That can changes depending on such things as the cost of each college and the number of students you have in college.
To get an idea of how much one of our colleges might cost BEFORE you apply or fill out the FAFSA, use the net price calculator posted on each college’s website. By entering some of the financial information unique to your family, these calculators will give you a better idea of how much the college will cost based on your unique financial circumstance. This adjusted cost is referred to as "net price" and is a more accurate estimate of the college's cost.
Filling out net price calculators with your student provides a good opportunity for you have a candid discussion about cost before any college applications are submitted.
of our first-year students receive grants & scholarships
is average share of tuition covered by grants & scholarships for our first-year students
When to file the FAFSA
You can file the FAFSA beginning on October 1 for the upcoming academic year. It can pull in your previous year's tax information so there is no need to wait until after January 1. Remember: To be considered for federal, state and institutional aid and be offered the most complete financial aid package, you must complete the FAFSA. Don’t assume you won’t qualify for any aid.
Need help managing all deadlines? We've gathered together the key admissions and financial aid deadlines for our colleges in once place to make it a little easier.