In today’s economy, more and more families are searching for discounts, coupons, and any way possible to lower the sticker price of their day-to-day purchasing–but what if you could actually lower the sticker price of a private college?
Understanding the “Sticker Price”
If you’ve ever shopped for a bargain, you’ve probably noticed the words “Suggested Retail Price” above the original price on a price tag. The price you see listed on a college’s website is like that suggested price–it is the starting point, but NOT necessarily the final word on the cost of college.
Industry experts refer to this as the “college sticker price,” and we focus on helping families find ways to reduce this cost!
Why Would Colleges Offer Tuition Discounts?
Like any large business (yes, colleges are “big business!”) colleges and universities want to get the most out of their investments. They want students who will perform well, graduate on time, get good jobs, and later contribute back to their alma mater with both prestige and alumni donations!
Of course, lots of colleges will want students like this, and their best chance to them is to offer competitive pricing by doling out scholarships, grants, and tuition discounts.
Start With the FAFSA
Did you know that filing the FAFSA is actually a way to create competition between colleges? The key is to send the FAFSA to 6 to 8 schools who are all looking for students with your child’s attributes (GPA, major, community involvement, athletic or other talent, etc.). These discounts aren’t limited to students with a 4.0, but you will need to do some research to find out which schools are looking for students with your child’s profile.
The schools that receive your student’s FAFSA will see all the other schools to which the FAFSA was sent. If they see competing schools listed (omitted example) they may be more likely to offer additional aid.
Evaluate and Appeal
Once each school has sent your student an Award Letter, you can sit down and evaluate their offers. If your student’s first choice school has not offered as much as a second or third choice, your family can appeal for additional funds by leveraging the best award offers against the offer from that first choice school.
Some schools will bite, others will not. If a school truly wants your student, this strategy may result in a significantly improved financial aid package which translates into a much lower cost of college for your family!
Note: Only appeal an award from a school your student is still interested in attending. It is not ethical to ask for more money from a school in which your student is not still interested and wouldn’t accept an offer.
All the best,