According to this recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the amount different students are charged for tuition and board at their colleges and universities is not the same. Perhaps we all are vaguely aware that those students who are eligible for needs-based scholarships and work-study arrangements are given a financial break. However, as the author of the article, Richard D. Kahlenberg, notes, he was “dumbstruck” by the disparities when, on a recent campus speaking tour, students from the group sponsoring his talk introduced the forum by publicly announcing their names and how much they and their families paid each year in tuition and fees.
The differences were quite shocking — from the full $56,000 going rate on one end of the spectrum, to a mere $1,200 on the other.
I flew to California recently for a vacation with family. On the plane, I wondered what each passenger had been charged for the same flight. How many different rates were charged, and what was the difference between the highest fare and the lowest fare each passenger paid? For those who booked a flight at the last minute, the price may have been $1,000 or more than those were used their Frequent Flyer miles and paid a $25 service fee.
The college education “industry” has followed the same path, charging vastly different amounts, depending upon a huge variety of factors, including charging what they think they can get from any one family. The difference in college costs from one student to another could be more than $50,000 per year.
And it’s not going to change. So the main point here is to make sure that you and your family are getting the best possible rates. An Educational Consultant can help you identify a school that provides the most student aid and perhaps even more importantly, the most financial aid that does not have to be repaid.