Private vs. State COA?

<p>Im wrestling with the general question whether the overall cost of attendance at a private schools (including the Ivy's) is typically more expensive than the state schools/ university? </p>

<p>Having the larger endowments and possibly more available funding I question if the final FA offers are such that private schools may actually be a little cheaper than a state college (assuming an out of state tuition)? If not cheap, possibly very similar in COA.</p>

<p>Im interested in what others may be able to share on this general subject. Im new to the whole college game and seek experienced practical advise/ thought from others on how to view the subject.</p>

<p>Assuming a state school is willing to offer merit aid due to academic achievement, will the private school recognize the COA and possibly modify their EFC FA package?</p>

<p>I'd say the most specific response would be "It depends." More specifically, the answer would depend on FA policies the schools you're considering, your qualifications, your family's FAFSA and PROFILE scores, how badly each school wants you to attend, how far each school is from home, whether there are special program costs (you certainly don't think those "year abroad study" programs are free?), etc.</p>

<p>JMHO, but I think all this will get resolved when you choose a financial safety or two into your application list. Yeah privates are usually more expensive than publics, but not always.</p>

<p>NewHope is correct. Case in point: DS's friend got huge fin aid at an OH LAC, which wound up being cheaper than his not so great FinAid at OSU. It just depends on what you bring to the table, sometimes, and a lot of times, how much $$$ the LAC has in its kitty.</p>

<p>When comparing public in MN to private LAC our D's packages varied. Some LACS were way more expensive, some were comparable and some less. She was strong academically and plays a sport. She was offered academic $$$ at all LACs, church $$$, community service $$$, etc. State money for her was almost nonexistent.</p>

<p>I would recommend for students to apply to an in-state university or college as a financial safety if family finances are a concern. However if accepted to a highly selective college, you may find the net cost to be little different than costs at the public university.</p>

<p>This is what our son did and in the end the cost of the private college he is attending was a bit less than the flagship university he was accepeted by.</p>

<p>So by all means do not eliminate any college based merely on sticker price. Its fun to bargain hunt!!!</p>

<p>It really depends. I had to choose between Northwestern and Michigan. I found Northwestern, being a private school, to be cheaper and easier to pay because they gave me a more generous financial aid package than Michigan, which is a public in-state school. The well endowed private schools do give students excellent financial aid packages.</p>

<p>State/public U's often won't give much merit aid- the lower tuition for all instate students takes available money. Taxpayers very often won't give money to state schools as they figure they are "donating" through their taxes. Private schools with large endowment funds can afford to give aid, public ones without can't. Some of the lesser public schools will give out more merit aid to lure better students to upgade their institution, they must figure it is a cost with a worthwhile benefit. Schools like Michigan can fill their student body with excellent students without needing to offer as many financial incentives based on merit. Have fun with all those trips through Chicago, tenisghs- in Wis people appreciate that Northwestern is in a northern suburb!</p>

<p>It depends on FAFSA vs Profile and what percentage of need is met. For us, private or not, FAFSA schools seemed to result in a pretty similar package whereas Profile schools wanted a higher EFC (home equity) but some privates do not consider HE, so it depends on the school and on you. Some people find profile schools better as their circumstances are reviewed differently.</p>

<p>There are so many variables but if this is a concern in your college search like it is in my DDs case you may want to follow these steps:</p>

<p>1) Generate a list of schools that are interesting to based on a variety of "fit" criteria.</p>

<p>2) Make sure that the list includes a financial and academic safety which you are willing to afford...for most that is an in state public.</p>

<p>3) The list should also include some privates known for good merit aid. Some of the less well known schools offer some of the best packages. </p>

<p>4) It's perfectly OK to have some really pricey schools on the list as well because until that FA offers come in you really don't know where you can afford for your student to go</p>

<p>5) Make sure your child picks their financial safety wisely. If FA offers from pricier schools don't pan out and they end up there they need to be happy to go there</p>

<p>6) If your child knows the GPA/SAT parameters necessary for getting merit aid at school X it may be the stimulus they need to work and prep that much harder in order to make it happen.</p>