...from GuidedPath Edge Guru

Can you pay less to go to a more expensive college?


Edge Tip:

Did you know sometimes you can SAVE your family money when attending a Private college.  How is that possible? See Jack’s story below.

Jack Awesome

Jack is a student living in Los Angeles. He has applied to several colleges, both in state and out of state.  He has applied to CSU Los Angeles because it is close to home.  His parents and friends all tell him it will cost him less to go to CSU Los Angeles than any other school.  His heart is set on Dartmouth, which he knows is a very competitive college to get into.  He has also visited Gettysburg and would like to go there as a student if Dartmouth does not accept him. Both of Jack’s parents work. They earn a good income, but not enough to pay for an expensive college. How can Jack afford to go to an expensive school like Dartmouth?

Estimating College Financial Aid

Jack needs to look at his estimated family contribution (as calculated in GuidedPath Edge) and the cost of each of the three colleges on his list.

jack1 table

What are the chances of the college giving me full financial need?

There is a difference between what your NEED is and how much money the colleges have to GIVE you. Some colleges have more money to give than others.  Using GuidedPath Edge, Jack can estimate how much money a college is likely to give him.

jack2 table

Where would Jack spend less money:

It would cost Jack less money to go to Dartmouth than to stay home and go to CSU Los Angeles.  

jack3 table

Moral of the story:  

  • Don’t let the ticket price of a college scare you.  Know how colleges will look at your family’s financial situation. (Complete a College Affordability survey in GuidedPath to find out your estimated family contribution.)
  • Qualifying for “need” is based on the cost of the college, NOT your family contribution. (See last week’s article about the Three Parts of Financial Aid.)

Your Edge

  • Review College Affordability Survey results.  Jack is in the “Half-and- Half” category. What category are you in?
  • What are the EFC Strategies for your category? What search strategies should you use?