Pre Pay 4 years?

This is a crazy question but one I was thinking about and was unable to find any information.

Do colleges let you prepay 4 years in order to lock in freshman aid packages?

Could this strategy guard a family against tuition increases and decreases in aid? Especially if they anticipate a significant increase in assets?

or is it up to the individual institution??

I am still a newbie here and this thought crossed my brain today!

That would be by individual institution. Some also have a price guarantee that the tuition won’t change from freshman year levels. You would have to check with each school.

I think the answer is no. We toyed with this idea briefly. I think the main issue is that fees go up most of the time and you would still have to pay the difference. But also, what if your child decides to transfer out, or heaven forbid, gets sick? Call the FA office at colleges of interest and ask.

Skidmore used to allow pre-payment for subsequent years. I don’t know how this affected financial aid because the student I know who did this was full pay there. It was a good thing for them because they has the college savings already, and the prices at that time were increasing about 4-5% a year. So they saved quite a bit by prepaying and locking in the first year cost.

thanks for the feedback!

Lafayette allowed prepayment, but you couldn’t prepay if you received any aid. We prepaid 2 years at a time. Prepayment could only be applied toward tuition, not room and board.

My kids’ schools refunded any over payment. One even did it every week! She dropped a class and added a class on a Tues, but the drop went through and the add didn’t. Every Wednesday they refunded any over payment, so that class tuition was refunded. I had to repay it the next week.

Paying freshman year wouldn’t lock in the FA for future years. Merit aid sometimes has GPA requirements, number of credits required, major to retain it. Need based usually requires you to file FAFSA/CSS every year to qualify.

Some schools do have a prepay program, but you’d have to work with that school on how to get that price guarantee.