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Follow the College...Find the Money

Are you in dire need of financial aid? Look to the colleges first. Don’t discount the benefits of submitting your FAFSA but you may find that you receive more aid from a private college or university if you are the right candidate. How is this possible? Well, for starters, the listed tuition at a private university is actually quite similar to the sticker price on a brand new vehicle—it’s negotiable.

Private colleges want to recruit students who will be positive contributors to their student community and get involved in campus life. Each year these institutions are faced with the challenge of marketing their college to students, capturing their interest, and populating their campus. To do this effectively, private colleges must maintain an engaging campus atmosphere that is overflowing with activities, bustling students, and opportunity. Such community life is only possible however, when the students themselves are an appropriate mix of people with a wide range of interests, talents, and intellectual pursuits.

How do students contribute to the college they attend?

Private colleges aren’t looking for a student with a thick wallet as much as they are for the student with proven academic strengths, talent, and the potential to be involved in campus life. The student that embodies such qualities is the necessary commodity of most private institutions, and usually, they cough up scholarship incentives to enroll him.

There is on the contrary, also a small core of students who pay close to sticker price for their tuition, though they are few and far between. These students contribute their money and their efforts to pursuing a degree at a particular institution because they like what the college has to offer. Period. For such students, financial aid is typically a less pressing concern. These students may foot the bill, but in reality they usually aren’t the students that the college advertises and they certainly aren’t the students that the college focuses its attention on recruiting.

What does this mean for me?

Quintessentially, if you are a student with a good GPA, credible ACT/SAT scores, and the right combination of interests you can attend a private school at the same cost or less, than a state institution. Consider what you will bring to the university you attend. If it lines up with what a school is looking for they’ll make sure you have the support you need. The key to obtaining a great education at a good price is to find the school that is looking for you. Just watch, a scholarship will be waiting with your name on it.

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