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Most affordable T25 College

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Replies to: Most affordable T25 College

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For us, cost differential between Rice, and say, Brown narrows rapidly. We can drive to Brown ( and a number of schools on that list) and back in a day. So no flights, no hotels involved. Can use home resources for stuff instead of buying.

    Also, some of the above schools have cheap off campus housing and a culture that supports leaving school housing as upper class men. Some don’t, or surrounding areas not low rent. COL other than that, didn’t seem to figure in my kids’ costs as they do not shop much and find comparably priced eateries anywhere. I think NYC could be a real exception to that as it’s hard to ignore the big Apple happenings
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  • GreymeerGreymeer 783 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    http://money.com/money/best-colleges/

    Best schools for your money.
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4477 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    No one seems to know real COA of colleges...

    What do you mean by "real COA"? If you mean tuition, fees, room and board, those figures are all readily available on each school's website. If you want to add in books, travel and discretionary expenses, those numbers will depend on the student's particular situation, so nobody but you and your student can properly estimate those expenses.

    Really, what you are asking for isn't hard to figure out. Do your own work and be confident that you have the best available data. Asking others to do the work is lazy and risks getting unreliable information.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I use the COAs used for CDS as a base. But those numbers can vary individually. Some schools have hefty surcharges for certain majors, charge for credits in excess of a certain number, etc. I don’t remember if any of the OP’s listed schools do.

    Then with Room and board, some schools allow more variation in the charges so that the average costs listed could be quite different. As mentioned before, if an off campus environment is the norm and it’s cheap rent nearby and you have a frugal kid, you can really bring down the costs. Live close enough to parents do that they can share some goods, it also brings down the cost.

    Some schools have apartments for upperclassmen that are expensive. Some require purchase of on campus meal plans in more situations than others.

    All of those factors are individual.

    Also want to add that one of the benefits of attending the most selective schools is that you have an opportunity to meet those in a whole other living situation than yourself if you are an upper middle or middle income student. That was something very different to me in going to such a school. Yes, there are kids on financial aid at such schools, but also a concentration of very well connected and wealthy kids that many of us do not get the opportunity to get to know in our usual life. Though keeping up with the wealthy is not something Id recommend anyone to try to do when you are not, there is a bit of that at such schools. That can cost money too.
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  • PepperJoPepperJo 288 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    $80,277 is the COA for UChicago for 2019-2020. However, they do offer merit.
    https://financialaid.uchicago.edu/undergraduate/costs
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 11
    $73450 is what Princeton says. With $3500 in discretionary expenses but no travel estimate in there. No idea if Eating Clubs covered in the Board figures.

    Princeton is less than 2 hours away for us, so travel costs would be low. Also, a lot of home resources can be used instead of bought new.

    Vanderbilt comes in a bit lower but engineering majors there have substantial additional fees. For us, having a kid there would mean flights. DH and I would want to drop him off there so that’s 2 1/2 round trip tickets right there. 2 more if we choose to return for parents weekend. Also, at least a night at a hotel and car rental each trip. For that first year, I’d want kid back for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well. So add that to the costs. Not to mention trips to Target and Walmart to buy stuff we didn’t hail from home. Easily $4k right there. I figure dinner out would be comparable anywhere. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/financialaid/costs.php is link to Vanderbilt costs for 2019-20.

    I see where UCh is getting some of its merit money.
    edited June 11
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  • RiversiderRiversider 844 replies101 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 11
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4477 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member


    2019-2020 direct costs (i.e. billed by the school):

    Williams>$72,270
    Amherst>$73,950

    Everything else is either estimated or discretionary. Don't mix your apples and oranges.

    The UPenn data you linked to is for academic year 2017-2018. Attention to detail matters.
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  • RiversiderRiversider 844 replies101 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited June 11
    Amherst


    “For 2019-20, the typical student expense budget includes:

    Comprehensive fee (tuition, room and board): $72,950
    Other student fees (student activities, campus center programs and residential governance): $1,000
    Health insurance* (may be waived): $2,072
    Tuition insurance (may be waived): $98 (per semester) ***
    Books and supplies (estimated): $1,000
    Personal expenses (estimated): $1,800
    Travel/Transportation** (estimated; varies by location): $50-$2,500
    Cost of attendance: $78,872–81,32”
    edited June 11
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It’s not that easy to do. You can take the direct cost numbers which are tuition and room/board. Then the mandatory fees. But some school ( look at Vanderbilt) will charge hefty surcharges for certain majors and programs. Others might charge for academic course loads over standard. Some are generous in accepting AP credits and courses taken elsewhere so a student can graduate early. Some have have more expensive housing for upper class next, better off campus options. So you do have to personalize each COA info
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  • brantlybrantly 3940 replies69 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 12
    You save a ton of cash if your kid is at a school that you can drive round trip in a day. My oldest went to Michigan. Over the course of four years, we must have spent close to $10k in flights, ground transportation, hotels, meals, summer storage, and shipping.
    edited June 12
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39213 replies6997 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    MODERATOR'S NOTE:
    If anyone ever did the math, please share your results.
    So 3 pages in, it looks like no user has compiled a master list, so there seems no purpose in keeping this thread open since posts are also conflating billed vs. discretionary. Even if there were a master list, it's info will be outdated for the next admissions cycle. But since Google is one's friend, the OP can start the list that meets his/her needs. Closing.
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