Parent College Coach Tip #4: Look for College Bargains

college bargainsYou don’t pay sticker price for a car and you don’t want to pay sticker price for college. Everyone wants a bargain, and college is no exception. Don’t believe the lie that you are at their mercy. You’re not–you’re the consumer and it’s your responsibility to make a wise financial decision.

Most parents believe that state colleges and universities are the best bargain. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t discount private colleges and universities. Believe it or not 87% of private institutions give merit aid via scholarships to accepted students. Just because the sticker price for a state school might be less, it doesn’t mean you’re going to pay less once the financial aid is dispersed.

Want to know how to find schools that dispense the most merit aid? Go to Click on the “search for college” tab. You will see the website’s search engine. Scroll down to the “financial friendliness” category and click “merit aid-include only students with financial need”. Then you can sort the colleges from the schools that are the most generous to the least generous.

Wonder which colleges meet 100% (or almost) of financial need? Here’s a good list: List of Colleges That Meet 100% of Financial Need.

Author: Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer advises parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation at She is excited to share her knowledge with the readers of Smart College Visit.

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