Niche College Scholarship Blog


Students Say "I Do" for Lower Tuition

Students Say "I Do" for Lower Tuition
Alexis Mattera

In February, we read a New York Times article about students getting married to save on tuition and asked our Facebook friends and Twitter followers if they, too, would get hitched if it meant they’d pay less for school. The responses? Mixed, but the topic is still hot four months later.

State aid is down, tuition is up and students are stuck in a tough position these days. While some are continuing down the traditional paths of obtaining funding for college (filling out the FAFSA, applying for scholarships and grants, taking out loans, etc.), others are taking a different route – or should we say aisle – with a friend or another student in a similar monetary situation. Why? If a student is single and under the age of 22, their financial aid is determined by their parents’ income but if the student is married, aid is determined by the joint income of the student and their spouse – an enticing loophole for cash-strapped undergraduate and graduate students. Unlike marrying to obtain citizenship, marrying for financial aid or in-state residency benefits is legal according to WalletPop; there are even matchmaking services that help students find likeminded individuals to marry for tuition relief and divorce after graduation!

What are your thoughts on these “on-paper” marriages? Would you say “I do” if you could save thousands on tuition and fees or do you feel this practice – while legal – is too unethical to consider?

Comments (1)
Matt S. 2/2/2019
I am an old dad seeking scholarship funds for my freshman-in-college son. More about him later. The ethics of marrying to reduce education cost reminds me of the times when I was a student in college (January 1962-June 1966). Tuition was a piece-of-cake, but looming over young men was the military draft since the Vietnam conflict was requiring recruits to send into battle. Being married avoided the draft, some of my friends took that route instead of escaping the draft by leaving the country. My second point is that I have a son who is 19 and a freshman in college and he will be getting married to his sweetheart soon. The thought of saving on tuition did not enter the couples minds. They are in love, they're very well matched, and they are intent on becoming adults and the only "college experience" my son is wanting is the education to prepare him for the future. The young couple are blessed to have each other's support. My son is more motivated now than ever, I think that is worthy of
We make it simple and match you to college scholarships you qualify for.