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College Costs Rise to $95000 This Fall: How Financial Aid Can Help



Last Updated on April 3, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

As high school graduates make their final decisions on which college to attend this fall, the cost of higher education is at the forefront of many students’ minds. With some private institutions charging as much as $95,000 per year, the financial burden can be overwhelming for many families.

However, there is hope for lower-income students as some colleges with large endowments are offering generous financial aid packages to make attendance more affordable. Despite the high sticker prices, research shows that the amount lower-income students pay to attend elite institutions has actually been decreasing over the past six years.

Unfortunately, technical issues with a new U.S. Department of Education online form are causing delays in students receiving financial aid offers from colleges. Financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz warns that lower enrollment due to complications with the new aid system could even lead to college closures.

Some of the colleges with sticker prices over $90,000 include prestigious institutions such as the University of Southern California, Harvard University, and Brown University. However, many of these colleges also offer substantial financial aid to reduce costs for students. For example, the average parent contribution at Harvard University is just $13,000, and a quarter of families pay nothing at all.

The College Board estimates that the average cost for private non-profit colleges last year was $60,000. Kantrowitz believes that college can still be a good investment as long as students borrow responsibly and complete their studies. As students weigh their options for the fall semester, financial aid and affordability will continue to be key factors in their decision-making process.

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