How do you know if a particular college is likely to offer you a discount on their tuition price? Before you even apply, you can get an estimate by running your specific profile data through a Net Price Calculator (NPC), a tool that can be found on every college’s website.
Forbes ran a Net Price Calculation for five schools using several hypothetical scenarios. The results show discount rates (financial aid) that would be awarded given specified parameters.
… two types of students, one from a family with an annual income of $300,000 and another from a single-earner family making a mere $12,000 a year. We tested two different academic scenarios: a supersmart kid scoring 1540 on his SAT, with a 4.0 GPA and in the top 10% of his class, and a “B” student scoring 1250 on the SAT, with a GPA of 3.0 and in the top 50% of her graduating class.
The biggest surprise is that RPI gives more financial aid to English majors than to engineering students.
As you can see all the top institutions except well-endowed Amherst offer discounts or “merit” aid. Only Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) differentiates its aid on its calculator by the student’s intended major as well as by income and ability. RPI clearly wants more poets and is willing to pay for them. President Nixon’s alma mater, Whittier College in southern California, clearly isn’t eager to attract lower-income students. In our test it offered an additional grant of only $1,334 to the low-income overachiever. Even after its ample discount, the needy student’s family still has to come up with half the cost of attendance.
This illustration is a reminder that a Net Price Calculator can help guide your college search.