Tuition guarantee programs

Boston University has a Tuition guarantee program. My oldest attends BU and this was a consideration in deciding to attend. The financial aid provided entering Freshman year will remain the same for all four years and will increase based on tuition increases. There is no need to apply for financial aid each year after this and it provides a peace of mind to know that each year the cost will be consistent. Does anyone know of other schools with this type of promise? My youngest is looking to attend a school outside of the Massachusetts, CT, RI area. He is a National Merit Semi-Finalist, ACT 35, Computer Science Major. Cost is certainly a concern and we are hoping for as few loans as possible. Thanks in advance!

There are schools that lock tuition or tuition room and board.

Miami Ohio and Arizona come to mind. I’m sure there are other schools.

I think Miami actually guarantees tuition and dorm costs.

Here’s a complete list - i would directly check each school for accuracy but obviously aid might be a different story but at many you might get no aid.

btw - what’s his GPA because if costs matters to you, then you need to look at Arizona, Alabama, UAH, Arkansas, Ms State, Florida State, South Carolina, etc. or the schools that offer scholarships to NMF - such as USC (half), UTD, New Mexico, Minnesota, and others.

For reasonable cost, Florida, Purdue and many more.

BU is pricey for sure - and for CS, probably no advantage over many other schools. If he has a 4.0 UW, your tuition at Arizona would be $3K - ish. If a 3.9, $8K ish.

At FSU with the out of state waiver, $3K-ish, etc. Lots of ways to not pay $60K a year in tuition alone.

Which Colleges Offer Tuition Guarantees? (

The Guaranteed Tuition Program | The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Cost of Attendance, 2021-2022 - Miami University (

Thank you so much for this information. He does have a 4.0 UW GPA. I will look in to these. He isn’t interested in BU (doesn’t want Boston and wants to build his own name away from his brother I gather) but the tuition freeze eases my mind for sure so I am very interested in seeing what other options we have. Really appreciate it!

Yeah - if you’re chasing “cost”, then you’re on the wrong end of the spectrum - unless you have huge need and the school meets need.

Most on the CC - not me as I’m not expert - but most say outside of 5 or 8 schools like CMU, for example, where you go for CS is not relevant.

But you have a lot of Northeasterners and others at schools like Bama, Ms State, Florida State, Arizona and Arizona State - ASU and South Carolina have the two highest rated Honors Colleges which your son would be in for if he wanted - U of SC also has great aid. ASU also has good aid - for schools like MS State, Arizona, ASU, Bama, UAH - you know up front what you’ll get walking in - just go on their websites and review merit aid or use the net price calculator.

Florida State will be a waiver. Florida (U of) is cheap and I think he’ll get $500.

Utah, New Mexico, Iowa State come up a lot. Purdue is reasonable full price.

Really depends where he wants to be and what size campus. Lots of LACs out there have CS - and merit aid.

If you go to some more focused names, you have your RPI/WPI but they miss the spot geographically. Case Western in Cleveland, Rose Hulman in Indiana is a small, well regarded very technical university, Missouri Science & Tech (public in Missouri), Colorado School of Mines, South Dakota School of Mines.

If he wants the high pedigree, he can try a Vandy, WUSTL, Rice, USC, etc. and hope for merit - unlikely but not impossible.

When you run the NPC for BU, what does it say you can afford. Are they giving you need aid or are you full pay?

In these case, to me, U of Az or others are $22K vs. $80K are a no brainer.

For a private that’s aggressive, there are many. Bradley in Illinois will give you an online estimate as will Hofstra (but misses the geography).

If you give us what areas he likes, school size, urban rural, etc. you can get more focused help.

I wouldn’t be overly concerned with guaranteeing costs…I would be more concerned with getting low costs up front so even if inflation hits, it’s not too bad.

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Yes, exactly. I am looking at overall cost primarily but concerned that it would drastically change year to year. He is looking for a smaller school in a “4 seasons” type location and wants to be challenged. Right now, he is thinking in the lines of Case Western, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Colby, Northwestern, University of Rochester, University of Chicago, Dartmouth…Unfortunately, the Price Calculators aren’t super helpful since his dad and I are divorced. It only helps if they are a school that won’t ask for a CSS from his dad. My income is significantly different and his dad is not going to be assisting much. We are planning based on no help from him since his assistance isn’t a guarantee and he has already told him he wouldn’t do much. We get significant aid from BU.

If you get significant aid from BU, then you likely would elsewhere but yes, each college is different in what is required in the form of divorce families, etc. My daughter got into Washington & Lee. At my income level it says 88% of people get an average of $38K. We are - the other 12% people - they always have that little disclaimer about average assets. Each school is different but W&L was 2x income. Cornell is $100K.

I look at it and say there are trade offs. So if BU is - after aid - and i’m just throwing out a # - $20K a year - hey, you might want to leave Massachussets but this is what I can afford, etc. But there are plenty of cheap colleges.

At a Rochester, Case Western, etc. you can do ok but not great. But again, there is the need component I’m not factoring in.

So he’s ok with the Northeast clearly - but not urban I take it as BU is and your others are less urban. And it sounds like smaller - I think BU is the largest of those you mentioned.

You might look at Pitt too.

I would be less concerned with initial cost but more concerned with overall contribution.

You can ask each school about their aid flexing each year like BU.

Or you can just take a dirt cheap school - again, not knowing your cost at BU - but if it’s $50K and you can just go for $22 or $23K…it might go up, but it’s never going to get to $50K, etc.

Is he open to the far west or south?

Since BU is taking care of you (and I assume it’s need based, not NMF based), you might look at all the schools that meet 100% of need - but yes, each school will be different based on your ex husband - but if you can’t determine what is what from the calculators, pick up the phone and call a financial aid counselor at that school and they can help you.

This way you know whether you’re wasting time or not. The good news is - at some “lesser” schools, your son will be over the average and that will help - a Franklin & Marshall for example and they meet 100% of need. Or a Dennison.

Here’s Every College That Offers 100% Financial Aid (

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When does your older child graduate from college? When you have only one student in college, it’s very likely that your need based aid will go down.

Merit aid is your friend. It is not based on income or assets, and your former spouses income won’t matter.