2 Polonia Court,
Although you won’t see the “Sticker Price” of college on the dormitory window as you might when shopping for a new car, the reality is that parents are often lulled into believing that the “sticker price” of college is actually the real cost to attend.
It is true that most public colleges and universities have a lower “sticker price” perhaps than many private schools and many parents fail to recognize the true “out of pocket” expense for that undergraduate degree. Consider the following: Based on information from the National Center for Education Statistics (U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences) the cost of tuition at public institutions nationwide is rising at a faster pace than tuition at private schools. Additionally, it often takes up to a year longer to attain an undergraduate degree from a public institution than it does from a private one.
A review of individual college websites and general information websites like CollegeBoard.com consistently show that financial aid opportunities in the form of GIFT AID (money that does not need to be repaid) are more frequently available at private colleges, while most public institutions offer SELF HELP AID, generally in the form of loans which must be repaid either during the college years or immediately after graduation.
Unfortunately, without the proper information, one may wind up sacrificing the quality of education based on a financial assumption that was completely erroneous. Only when a family evaluates all aspects of the true cost of an undergraduate degree, can they choose a college wisely and adequately prepare for the total out of pocket expense.
Taking into consideration how long it will take to complete the undergraduate program as well as the type of financial aid an institution is likely to award, are the keys to avoiding overpaying for the college degree unknowingly and unnecessarily.
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