When it comes to choosing a college and minimizing debt, forget prestige: Grant and merit aid are the way to go.
A recent study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers showed that private non-profit schools are offering incoming freshmen an average tuition discount of 49.9 percent. These tuition and fee discounts — which are grant awards — allow colleges to retain or attract students who can’t or won’t pay the full sticker price for their education.
For perspective, the average published tuition and fees at a private non-profit college was $37,040 during the 2017-2018 school year.
The association looked at 404 private colleges and universities.
Being a good student also pays.
Three out of four undergraduate students received merit aid during their first year of college, according to a survey of 1,075 students by College Ave Student Loans.
For high school juniors, the path to avoiding massive student loan debt begins now — when there’s enough time to compile a list of colleges that are worth considering.
“Make sure that your student has at least two or three categories that they’re weighing,” said Joe DePaulo, CEO and co-founder of College Ave Student Loans, a provider of private student loans. “Before you fall in love, make sure you have other options.”
These are the three types of colleges your child should add to his or her list, according to DePaulo.