right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Join us for a LIVE webinar Friday, April 3 at 3pm ET to hear from admission officers on how COVID-19 is impacting admissions at schools. REGISTER NOW and let us know what questions you have and want answered.
Check out our newest addition to the Student Lounge. Go to the "STUDENT HERE: Ask Me Anything!" and connect with fellow students who can answer your school specific questions!
Cooper Union is rumored to release decisions today (4/1). Share your outcome!

$320K sticker price for 4 years - how do people afford it

KenJenningsKenJennings 11 replies2 threads New Member
https://admissions.northwestern.edu/tuition-aid/index.html

So at ~$80K/year, it will come out to $320K/year for a 4 year degree. Do people (not counting financial need scholarships here) really pay that kind of money by the end of 4 years? Or is that the maximum you *might* pay because most kids will make up some of that money through scholarships/internships *after* you are in college (not sure how many kids get any merit scholarships as incoming freshmen).

We are no where close to being admitted but hypothetically wondering if it's worth taking a chance to join the kid hoping he/she will get some money later. Big risk I agree but if in general the idea is "Nah..don't worry about the sticker price presented on website. Almost everyone gets some kind of scholarship/internship after they join in the next 4 years and people actually end up paying only say 3/4 or 2/3 of what's mentioned out there" or something of that sort, I'd be more comfortable. Thanks.
37 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: $320K sticker price for 4 years - how do people afford it

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3850 replies70 threads Senior Member
    edited January 30
    Run Northwestern's NPC to get an estimate of your expected costs: https://admissions.northwestern.edu/tuition-aid/estimating-domestic-aid.html
    Complete the more detailed one at the collegeboard link.

    If you need an estimated FAFSA EFC to complete the NPC, get that here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/spa/fafsa4c/#/landing

    From Northwestern's 2018/19 CDS (H2), it looks like >50% of matriculating freshman did not apply/qualify for need-based aid....so lots of full pays there. https://enrollment.northwestern.edu/common-data-set.html
    edited January 30
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9139 replies91 threads Senior Member
    Agreed that there are lots of full pay students at NU.

    Run the NPC. If you are getting a full pay figure, that's what you need to budget/plan for.

    If you have a kid who is planning on engineering, you may be able to plan on internship $ but I wouldn't budget more than 2 summers worth in your calculations.
    · Reply · Share
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1114 replies107 threads Senior Member
    edited January 30
    There are plenty of full pay students at every expensive school. Either their parents have high income or inherited wealth or just decent earners with frugal lifestyle, who consider elite education best inheritance/gift for their children and are willing to make financial sacrifices to give children an advantage in life. Usually dual income families with only one or two kids.
    edited January 30
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 10334 replies130 threads Senior Member
    About 46%--less than half--of the undergraduate students receive financial aid packages averaging about $52,000 per year.

    Annual total COA (cost of attendance) is about $76,500 which includes tuition, fees, room & board, and estimated cost of books and supplies. Add in travel to and from school and $78,000 seems to be a more reasonable figure for students from the continental US.
    · Reply · Share
  • coolguy40coolguy40 2730 replies8 threads Senior Member
    It's a poor value for a bachelors degree, even with financial aid. Why parents pay it defies all rational logic. Accredited degrees that are just as good or better can be found for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 10334 replies130 threads Senior Member
    OP Ken Jennings asks how do people afford to pay for expensive private colleges and universities. The easy answer might be to dip into one's Jeopardy winnings.

    Otherwise, it seems affordable to just over half of the families presumably due to healthy incomes from 2 wage earners.
    · Reply · Share
  • Leigh22Leigh22 843 replies9 threads Member
    Over 65% of Northwestern students come from families in the top 20%.
    · Reply · Share
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1114 replies107 threads Senior Member
    coolguy40 wrote: »
    It's a poor value for a bachelors degree, even with financial aid. Why parents pay it defies all rational logic. Accredited degrees that are just as good or better can be found for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.

    There are lots of unnecessary luxuries people spend money on so what’s so odd about spending on an elite school?
    · Reply · Share
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6148 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Some people are rich enough that $320,000 is no problem at all. Some people are poor enough that they get great need based financial aid.

    There are a lot of us that are stuck in the middle. A lot of us just cannot afford this and do not qualify for need based financial aid. Some of us have the problem that we are so close to retirement that we cannot pay off parent+ loans after the kids graduate because we will not be employed. I know people who own farms or small businesses that could not possibly afford this because of the way that the financial aid formula considers the value of the farm or small business. We attend public universities. A few of us go abroad.

    I have noticed, and at least two personnel people have agreed, that increasingly the top graduates that we are seeing to hire are coming from public universities. The cost of attendance is a big reason for this. I don't think that this is a problem for either companies that hire top graduates from public schools or for the graduates themselves.
    · Reply · Share
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1114 replies107 threads Senior Member
    edited January 30
    We can’t have this debate about worth or value here as this forum’s demographics aren’t really balanced, most of us here are trying to find aid, merit or other affordable solutions. Not many top earners or old money folks are lurking here trying to figure out the best value. They already know it’s worth and are using their money and seasoned college consultants to get their children into these schools.
    edited January 30
    · Reply · Share
  • brantlybrantly 4114 replies72 threads Senior Member
    edited January 30
    The best discount is saving in a 529. You can actually get a 50% discount if you save from birth. $150k of earnings socked away in a 529 can turn into $300k over 18 years. Tax free on the growth.
    edited January 30
    · Reply · Share
  • pickpocketpickpocket 433 replies4 threads Member
    edited January 30
    Play with NU's Quick College Cost Estimator (linked above). I put in a very generous $200,000 annual income, then sort of median values for home and savings and guess what? NU will still give $30,000/yr in financial need grants! And zero loans!

    And OP, you will know your exact grant at the time of acceptance.
    edited January 30
    · Reply · Share
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1114 replies107 threads Senior Member
    edited January 30
    All of NU’s merit scholarships have a need or special status (kid of alumni, faculty etc). Only National Merit Scholarship doesn’t have any special requirement but it’s barely a pinch of salt at $500 per year.

    It seems Duke, Rice and Vanderbilt are the only T20 where high EFC/full pay applicants can be eligible for some good merit scholarships if they get selected.
    edited January 30
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30018 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Johns Hopkins, USC (California), UChicago, Wash U, Emory, Notre Dame also some top schools that give merit money, but very difficult to get.
    · Reply · Share
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13058 replies29 threads Senior Member
    The top 1% of households have at least $10M in assets. They can afford to put several kids through privates at full pay without hurting at all.
    There are roughly 4M births in the US each year so 1% of that is 40K.

    Go down the wealth/income spectrum, and it starts hurting more. But the 90th percentile still has a little over $1M in assets. If they don't qualify for fin aid, their income would be over $200K/year. Probably over $250K/year. At that level, full-pay would hurt, but if they only have one kid, I can see how they can and do make it work.

    Finally, a small percentage of Ivy/equivalent student bodies are from overseas. Most of these privates do not guarantee fin aid for Internationals, yet the US has the majority of the most prestigious universities in the world, so many from outside the US are willing to pay full price.

    So in short, there are a lot of rich people in this country and even more outside this country.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity