How to Choose
a College
You Can Afford

If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this:

ūü§Ē Financial aid offices decide how much money your family needs. Admissions offices decide how much money your student deserves.
The first is fixed, the second is negotiable.

Choose colleges where your test scores are better than the top 25%.
Using this tactic can help identify private colleges that may end up costing even less than public universities.

Ignore the sticker price.
Most colleges discount the tuition price listed on their websites by 50%.

Appeal rules requiring on-campus housing.
Colleges make money on room & board. 43% of a public university student's budget is spent on housing & food. Appeal these requirements and pay half the amount by living off-campus.

Apply as early as possible.
Some states have first come, first served financial aid. Once the budget is gone, so is the aid. Apply asap and complete the FASFA in early OCT.

NEGOTIATE.
Don't take whatever is given to you. Ask questions and delicately balance demonstrating interest while also communicating their offer is not the only one you're considering.


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