Financial aid keeps net costs flat at private colleges
Rising college costs — it is a familiar refrain these days. But that’s not the whole story. When you look at average net tuition costs at private colleges in Minnesota, the trend has been that actual prices have not changed much at all.
For most students at Minnesota’s private colleges, merit and need-based aid make a big difference, lowering the listed price to a “net price” and making college much more affordable. This happens for 94% of first-time students, whose tuition bills are reduced by financial aid they never have to pay back.
The average net tuition was $14,661 at Minnesota’s private colleges in 2011-12, the most recent period reported. Three years earlier, the net price was $14,307 — just $350 lower. So net tuition has been relatively flat.
“In a world where the ‘bottom line’ is important to students and parents, Minnesota’s private colleges have demonstrated a firm commitment to making high quality education affordable,” said Kris Roach, director of admissions and financial aid at the University of St. Thomas.
Looking more closely at the numbers, another point to consider is inflation. When adjusted for inflation, net tuition actually fell 4% between 2007-08 and 2011-12.