Colleges That Will Be Lower In Cost For Me

I’m a Missouri high school senior that will be graduating in May. I have already applied to 20 something schools, and as the letters of financial aid came in the mail I have realized that I need to choose cheaper schools. I applied to places like College of Wooster, Denison, Illinois and Ohio Wesleyan, Kenyon, Lake Forest, Otterbein, St. Olaf, etc. I want a smaller college with an intimate relationship on campus because I will be on a pre-med track. I really love Lake Forest because it is suburban, but as with the other schools I can’t afford it. I have a 3.9 high school gpa with a 27 cumulative ACT score. My family’s expected contribution is barely over $2,000 so I received a lot of financial aid from the schools I applied to but with $70,000 price tags I would still need around $20,000 in loans a year. Please help me find some colleges that will be cheaper for me!

Did you apply to any of your state schools? How much can your parents actually pay without borrowing?

I don’t want to go to school in my city but my in state option is Truman State. My mom is a single mother so she won’t be paying anything.

Lots of questions coming…

Did you complete FAFSA? What was your EFC?

What is your mom’s income? Is your dad in the picture?

Truman State’s net price calculator at suggests the following for you (3.9 HS GPA, 27 ACT, EFC = $2,000):

$3,000 TruMerit scholarship (automatic for your stats)
$4,145 Pell grant
$1,500 Access Missouri grant

Subtracting this from billed costs of $16,879 leaves $8,234. There are about $4,800 indirect costs (books, travel, etc.), so the price would be $13,034. You can borrow $5,500 with a federal direct loan; if your parents contribute $2,000, then you would be left with $5,534 that you need to earn from work during the summer and part time during the school year.

Truman State is still open for application: . However, additional competitive merit scholarship selection mostly happens during December through February.

Here is Truman’s premed info:

Not sure if you could but living at home will also bring the price down to zero, you may not like it but it maybe your only choice. You might be able to transfer after a couple of years depending on your finances at that time. Also consider the CC route, that will save a ton of money.

How do you feel about taking a gap year? If you can get your ACT score above 30 you will have more options.

St Olaf typically meets full need or very close to it. What is your out-of-pocket and loan amount according to their calculator? I would have expected this to be one of your most affordable options if you have only a $2K EFC.

Would you consider one of the work colleges? You could see if you apply for aid. It might be necessary to do a gap year and apply next year. If that is the case, a year goes very quickly, and you could get work experience. Why not go work at a National Park for the year, like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc. Concessionaires staff hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. and often offer subsidized housing. Here’s info on the consortium of work colleges.

Good luck!