(NewsNation) — While college tuition at institutions across the country continues to reach astronomical levels, there are some ways students may be able to save more and rely less on grants and loans.
According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics that was reviewed by BestColleges, “the average cost for one year of college tuition and fees at four-year schools in 2020-2021 was $19,020.”
As that number is likely to grow, prospective students can employ to reduce college costs and lessen reliance on high-interest loans.
Find a number and stick with it
College tuition is negotiable. According to Road2College, one-fifth of private colleges will offer tuition at a discount.
Pick up the phone
Call the admissions office.
Road2College recommends highlighting your high school academic and extracurricular achievements as a means of receiving a merit scholarship.
If other schools are interested in your academic future, let them know it.
According to Fulton Bank, an “outstanding academic or athletic record” could help you “leverage a tuition reduction.”
Understand it’s also in their interest
According to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, “private, nonprofit colleges and universities sharply discounted tuition and fees for most students” in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Enrollment at higher education institutions is in decline in the U.S. Discounted tuition is one of the easiest ways for universities to boost enrollment.
During the pandemic, hundreds of universities also waived standardized test requirements and many still haven’t brought them back.
Hit a dead end? Talk with your financial aid officer
According to Road2College, if the difference between the cost of attending the school and what the government says your family can afford doesn’t sound right to you: appeal the financial aid decision.