Don’t Pay Full Price for College

According to the College Board*, tuition at four-year public colleges rose 6.5% this year while private colleges raised tuition 4.4%. So we thought a follow-up on Lynn O’Shaughnessy’s book “The College Solution” was in order.

Here are some of Lynn’s late-stage college strategies:

· Don’t believe the sticker price – public universities are discounting 15% and private schools 33.5% says the College Board
· Discounts do go to affluent families – you just have to know which schools will reward which kind of students
· Financial aid varies dramatically – some schools are generous on needs-based aid, some are not
· There are great online resources – 
     a. College Navigator (nces.edgov/COLLEGENAVIGATOR/): type in the name of the school to access a wealth of information 
     b. Common Data Set is posted on each school’s Website and has a Financial Aid section
· Get the best deal – select schools where the student is in the top 25% of grades & test scores (find stats on the Common Data Set)
· Test Score issues – a number of schools have test-optional policies (go to Fair/Test.org for the list of schools)

*The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, among its best-known programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT® and the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®). The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities and concerns.