January 5, 2018
The cost of college is on the rise, and admission is getting harder due to more competition than ever. With the increasing cost of college, students are now asking the question “Is a college degree really worth tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt?”
I was coaching a young man on colleges that he should consider for his chosen interest. Both of the schools that I was excited to share with him were outside of the state that he lives in. He abruptly stopped me and explained, “I can’t afford to go to a college that is out of state!” “My parents can only afford for me to go to a state school in the state where I live.”
While this was a specific discussion that I recently had, every family that I meet with shares this same misconception: going to an out-of state college will cost more than we can afford. Have you gone to a college website, and found the cost for one year of college? First of all, good luck finding the information! It will take much of your day just trying to find the cost. Once you add up all the fees, you will quickly realize that an undergraduate degree will cost nearly $100,000 at your local state college. And on top of that, universities will publish that their out-of-state fees are nearly double that of the in-state-fees. I’m not surprise that families think that out-of-state schools are not an option.
So, you must be wondering why I said that you shouldn’t pay retail. “How can I pay wholesale for college?”
Colleges negotiate! Even out-of-state colleges negotiate. I’m sure that you didn’t know that! The financial aid officers would prefer that I not tell you this secret, but yes, colleges compete to get the right students into their institutions. Now, if you want to go to State U, and you ask the financial aid office for a discount, they will most likely laugh, and tell you that all students pay the same old sticker price. Not true!
Here are 7 steps to increase your chances of getting a discount:
Finally, you should be ready to reject the college’s offer – If you go through each of the steps above, and the university is unwilling to adjust your Award Letter, then you need to be ready to accept another offer that meets your financial situation. It’s not the school that you choose that will determine your success. Your success will be determined by the effort that you give while pursuing your degree. So, don’t worry if you don’t go to the college that you root for on Saturdays in the fall. Your college experience will be what you put into it, no matter which school you attend.
Have you had success negotiating with colleges? Leave your comments below and share your experiences.
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