Affording Elon University? Daughter's #1 choice

Greetings - We live in the Northeast and are searching for possible scholarships so we can afford to send our daughter here. Any suggestions? Also, is it possible to do any negotiating with financial aid office in April? Thank You for any advice -

What amount are you trying to get Elon’s COA down to? (totally understand if you don’t want to disclose that, but it helps those trying to advise you).

I assume you’ve visited here:

Scholarships - Undergraduate Admissions (

Did your daughter receive any merit scholarships from Elon? Is she a finalist for any of the Fellows programs?

Did you submit the FAFSA and will you qualify for any need-based aid?

Unfortunately, Elon is not known for large scholarships (they believe their costs are lower than those colleges that they identify as “peer universities”, and therefore don’t offer a ton of merit). The ones that they do offer typically don’t get Elon’s costs down to an in-state cost. You can try to negotiate, but I’m skeptical that Elon would budge - considering costs are also an issue for many who want to attend there.

I have no experience with outside scholarships, other than reading on here that they are time-consuming and don’t amount to large amounts of money.


Outside of scholarships from Elon your next best place to look are for local scholarships. My son received a $7500 a year scholarship renewable for 4 years and a one time $4000 scholarship. These were all scholarships for local students and sponsored by businesses, individuals, and /or local organizations. Have your daughter ask her counselor and you can also do an online search by your county and/ or town. The other thing to keep in mind is that some colleges reduce any financial aid you receive by the amount of the outside scholarship.

My D goes to Elon and we are also from the northeast. Just a couple of things to be aware of costwise. Tuition went up 9% for 22-23. The last two years it went up 3% so that was a significant increase and we have no idea what they will do going forward. Housing can also go up as you get older. D was in a double first year but moved to a suite style room 2nd year with her own bedroom and is now in an on-campus apt. Both were more expensive than the freshman dorm. We originally said no to the suite style but it’s what all her friends were doing so we didn’t have much choice. I think it was $1600 more than freshman year. Off campus apres can be cheaper but the cheaper places often require a car. Most kids seem to come from wealthy families. We don’t qualify for FA but don’t have a lot of extra $$ to give our D for incidentals. Her spending $ is the $ she made from her summer job so sometimes she feels like she can’t keep up with everyone else.

Flights can be reasonable to Greensboro from the NE (except for Thanksgiving) but it can be expensive ($50-150) to get a ride to/from campus. They have shuttle buses but they might be full or not running on the day/time you need it. Kids get rides from friends but it’s an hour each way so friends are not always willing to do it. There are a lot of NE kids so they may be able to find rides home.

Study abroad is expensive. J-term trips run 8-10k. Semester trips are around $35k. They do have some scholarships available for study abroad but if you don’t qualify for FA, I’m not sure if you can get them.

Books so far seem cheaper than expected. Campus food seems good when we eat there but my D seems to eat off campus a lot as she doesn’t love the food. There are a lot of cheap restaurants nearby.

Overall, we love the school and think she is getting a great education but just wanted to give you some things to consider financially that we didn’t know going in.


I agree we need to know what number you are trying to get to. Have you run Elon’s NPC and it looks affordable?

Elon says they only adjust FA packages if there is a change in circumstances (meaning they will not negotiate their initial offer, or be persuaded by peer college offers).

Does Elon negotiate its financial aid awards for potential freshmen, particularly if I received a higher award from another college?

No. In order to maximize our limited financial aid resources, Elon personally reviews each of its financial aid offers before sending them and makes its best offer up front. If a family’s financial situation should change, we will review the aid award at the family’s written request.

It does seem like they will stack outside scholarships (and not decrease their FA by that amount), but it’s not crystal clear. I would thoroughly understand their outside scholarship policy before during a lot of work on a scholarship application…call the FA office and ask about X scholarship and how would it be treated.

I received a scholarship from the company for which my parents work. Will this affect my award from Elon?

In most cases it will not. In those cases where we are required to reduce part of our previous award, Elon first reduces student loans and/or work. Only where absolutely necessary will we reduce a scholarship or grant.

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Has your daughter been accepted to Elon? What net cost does their net price calculator give you? What is your FAFSA EFC?

Elon doesn’t meet full need for all accepted students.

How much can you afford to pay annually for college for your daughter?

Even IF you are able to discuss getting more aid from Elon, it’s not going to be a huge amount of money…and it won’t be guaranteed for all four years if it’s need based aid.

different school and home state here but YES, there are many costs beyond those considered in FA calculation and Total COA. Travel to/from home is significant and generally during expensive travel seasons. Books were practically free with open sources and borrowing (likely not true for science courses though.) Summer job income and campus jobs provide pocket money but my D has found she doesn’t have time to spend much money anyway.

Good luck!

We shaved about half off room and board by moving off campus, but still within walking distance. Lots of students have part time jobs on campus


Elon mom here. Was your daughter invited to interview for Fellows? If she accepted into a Fellows program, that is an additional $6000 scholarship I believe. Other than that, I agree that local scholarships seem to provide the best potential. Check in with the high school college counselor, and any local chapters of any organizations/groups she or your family is in (religious, professional, etc). There is also work study if that is an option.

I disagree with the other Elon parent a little bit about study abroad cost, my son is abroad now and his costs are nowhere near $35000 for the semester. Possibly because his program is a UNC program, booked through Elon, so the tuition is cheaper. Also this is what the President’s recent email says about tuition increases:" The total cost increase of 2.1 percent for the current academic year was the smallest in nearly 40 years. This historically small increase came at a time when Elon was managing additional operating costs due to campus COVID testing and student support, which included quarantine housing and new technology resources.

In light of these fiscal challenges, and with the growing impact of inflation, including rising supply and utility costs, trustees have approved a 7.6 percent total increase in tuition, room and board costs for the 2022–23 academic year. "

Agree with the need to factor in transportation costs for sure including airport transportation. My son doesn’t spend much, but yes, there do seem to be many affluent students there. in general the cost of living there and off campus housing is pretty cheap.

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Thank You all! Yes, she has been accepted and so far no merit and was not invited to Fellows. We are still waiting on Need-based aid. Does anyone know when this comes out?

Can you let me know what program your S is doing abroad? Been looking at the various programs and not finding many that are below $30k. Daughter is pretty open to going anywhere.

His program is called NC Consortium paris. When you find it and go to the Costs tab, note that the Elon tuition is shown, but we got a ~$4000 discount on that because the UNC Wilmington tuition is lower than Elon’s, and they bill the program school’s tuition. Here is the search page: Programs>Search (advanced)>Isabella Cannon Global Education Center

I don’t think you can search by “Affiliate” programs, but these would be the ones run by other schools, at which you would (theoretically…I’m not sure that they all work this way) get the program- school’s tuition. When you get to the Program’s home page, there is a Type: Affliate heading.

The website says that financial aid awards will begin to be mailed out in the first week of Feb, so I would have the student contact them at this point: [(336) 278-7640]

Thanks so much for this information, super helpful. I know Elon is supposed to be great for study abroad but I find their webpage kind of clunky. Wish there were more ways to search or just a good old fashioned brochure to look through. Just told my daughter she needs to make an appt with the SA office to start narrowing some things down.