Cutting the Cost of College

An increasing number of high school seniors are deciding to skip applying to private colleges and universities because they worry that the costs will be too high in these hard economic times. That was the gist of a story in today’s New York Times.

While it’s always essential to apply to financial safety schools, families could be cutting off their options unnecessarily if they assume expensive private schools are unaffordable.

What many families don’t realize is that it’s the private schools that enjoy the deepest pockets and can often offer more generous need-based financial aid packages, as well as merit awards.

A few days ago, a report by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities released a study that indicates that private schools are doing everything they can to ensure that they don’t cut back on financial aid to their students.

In the survey of 371 private institutions, only 8% of the institutions said they had cut or frozen student aid. The survey suggests colleges are saving money by shaving costs in areas that won’t have much of an impact on students. For instance, 48% of schools are slowing down construction projects, 50% are freezing new hiring and 41.5% are awarding smaller salary increases.

As I’ve mentioned before, the best way to find the most attractive academic packages is to broaden your search not narrow it.

Find dozens of ways to cut the costs of college by reading The College Solution.

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