Now more than ever families are looking for ways to save on college costs–so much so that students are feeling pressure to change long-time college application plans and even going so far as being indecisive about their final choices.
Searching for the Better Value
With the economy still on shaky ground, college-bound students are naturally responding by doing all they can to save on the cost of college, including amending their college lists.
According to the LA Times, this year, students are shying away from pricey private institutions in favor of public colleges and universities, anticipating this will help save them money.
But is this action the best way to get value for your dollar?
The Right Fit
While the low sticker price of public colleges can be tempting, families may actually end up spending the same–or even more–on education at a private school if they don’t ensure the right fit for their student. How?
Think of it like buying clothes because they’re on sale instead of because they fit well. You are likely to have buyers remorse and potentially end up replacing them with new clothes that fit you better.
While it is important to consider the sticker price of a school, you also need to consider how it matches your student academically, culturally and socially or you could end up with a student who wants to change schools–and that can mean wasted time and wasted money. In fact, changing schools often means students need to attend a full year more of school to make up for differences in school credit requirements!
Does Public Cost Less?
The sticker price (the advertised price of a college) of public institutions is usually lower overall, but that doesn’t mean the actual price will be lower. One reason is private institutions are much more likely to offer higher amounts of scholarships and incentives to their students who are a great match for their school. Plus, students are much more likely to graduate within four years at a private school which can save you one or two years of college costs.
You should also consider exploring how a college funding specialist can create your own personalized “roadmap” of how to pay for college most efficiently which can make both public and private schools more affordable!
Remember, while public colleges may be a good fit for your child, they may not be the ONLY option to make college affordable!
All the best,