I can’t afford private school tuition, why should I even bother applying?

Most people can’t afford the published private school tuition. But most people don’t pay the listed price for private school tuition either. And while private colleges cost more than public schools, they usually provide more financial assistance than public schools.

Consider the following information from College Data on two institutions:

Item

Texas State University

Austin College

Total Cost of Attendance

$21,355

$48,384

% Applied for Aid

88.5

98.6

% Judged with Need

69.1

73.7

% Offered Aid

97.6

100

% Full Need Meet

39.1

100

Average % of Need Meet

82

100

Average Amount Received

$12,599

$33,819

The total cost of attendance for Austin College is over twice that of Texas State University. However, Austin College also claims to meet 100% of student need.  On average, Texas State meets 82% of student need with only 39.1% of needy students having all of their need met.

Two Reasons to Apply to Private Colleges

One
You should consider applying to private colleges because they are more likely to meet your financial need. There are still concerns since few colleges meet full financial need and some provide more aid in the form of loans than grants. The goal is to avoid such colleges and apply to those that provide more grants than loans.

Two
You should consider applying to private colleges because they are more likely to provide non-financial need-based money in the form of merit scholarships. For students who have a high Expected Family Contribution, this is a significant advantage.

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