5 Ways to Get a Discount on College Tuition

Cliché: Roll back prices.    
POCS Reality: Colleges can offer grants/scholarships from their own institutional funds to discount their costs.


 Will your qualifications help a college’s ranking and give you some of the $5.3 billion being awarded this year? If so, you probably will receive some money along with your college admittance letter. Colleges award free money grants or scholarships from the college’s own funds to reward students they want and encourage them to attend.

 So what makes a college want a student so much they award money, even to its wealthiest applicants? Here are 5 ways to get a discount on tuition:

  1. Have better grades than most other applicants
  2. Have better accomplishments than most other applicants

 Merit aid is based on a student’s talent-academic, musical, artistic, athletic, or leadership abilities. Many colleges do not consider family finances like they do for need-based financial aid because the goal is to get the accomplished student to accept their offer of admission instead of one from its competitors. College rankings often include student qualifications.

  1. Have better test scores (SAT/ACT) than most other applicants
  2. Afford to pay a good chunk of the college bill

 According to USA Today:

“The schools use the money — more than 20% of all U.S.financial aid — to compete for applicants who have high grade-point averages and SAT scores. Some discounts serve another purpose: They lure high-income families that can write a check for the rest of the tuition.”

 Colleges get more overall dollars from wealthier students. According to the Hechinger Report:

“Even with a generous grant, one higher-income student yields more net revenue than several low-income students.”

  College are concerned about their finances and financial resources are often included in college rankings.

 To sweeten the deal for many who can afford to pay, the federal government supplies tax credits to offset qualified college costs paid including tuition and fees.

  1. Show an interest in attending the college

 For a host, there’s nothing worse than invited guests not coming to the party. College prestige increases as compared to other schools when more accomplished students accept admission offers.

 As an admission factor after academic achievements (grades, advanced classes, and admission test scores), student demonstrated interest continues to be another consideration, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) State of College Admission 2011 report.

 Students can demonstrate their intention to attend through visits, interviews and other contacts with the admission office, applying through an early admission program, and essay/recommendations

 Read more:

 POCSmom’s College Prep DIY Insight: Although mutual attraction is important, the student-college relationship is a business deal, not a love affair. To encourage students they want to attend, colleges can show students the money and students can accept these discounts on tuition.

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