Tuition Assistance Offered Through A Tuition Guarantee Program
A tuition guarantee means that when a student enters college as a freshman the college will guarantee the tuition. Right up front, before the first semester class even begins, some colleges will give you the same tuition rate for the remaining three years as they charged for the first year……… Guaranteed! If this doesn’t excite you it’s because you may not understand how much the cost of tuition has been rising. Even if you do realize that college costs are inflating more than the cost of living you may think that it’s probably not a big deal over a four year college stint. It’s more dramatic than you realize. Let me show you.
College Inflation rate
From the period between 2001 and 2011 college costs have increased dramatically. They have increased much higher than the cost of most everything else! Here are the numbers:
- The average total cost of all four year institutions for the 2001 – 2001 school year was $13,639
- The average total cost of all four year institutions for the 2010 – 2011 school year was $22,092
- That 10 year period saw an inflation rate of 4.94%.
According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013–2014 school year was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. This means that the average private college will have this tuition payment schedule if inflation continues at the current rate.
- Freshman year – $30,094
- Sophomore year – $31,580
- Junior year – $33,140
- Senior year – $34,778
Tuition assistance through a tuition guarantee program offers the following potential savings:
- Freshman year – $0 savings
- Sophomore year – $31,580 – $30,094 = $1,486
- Junior year – $33,140 – $30,094 = $3,046
- Senior year – $34,778 – $30,094 = $4,684
For a total savings of $9,216 or 7.1%
Tuition Guarantee Specifics
First you must understand that this applies only to tuition and fees. All the other components of the cost of attendance like room and board are not included. It typically only applies to the first consecutive four years after you enter college. Colleges may differ on all the other variations that are possible with tuition guarantees. Some will offer it for longer than four years if the program you are in takes longer. Part time, online, transfer and out of state students may be eligible depending on the college as well. If you are not continuous and take off a semester or two colleges will vary on how they treat you when you return.
Colleges may also have other requirements in order to receive this tuition assistance. Some of those requirements may include completing college specific applications, meeting need or merit criteria, maintaining a minimum academic level while in college and filing the FAFSA to name a few. Keep in mind they may apply any other aid you receive to tuition first.
The main takeaway is that you should be applying to colleges that offer tuition assistance through a tuition guarantee program. As you are doing your college search you should not only check if they offer this program but also check the specific college’s website for details on their program. This is one of the easiest ways to get free money for college! Savings of 7.1% for a typical private college is not chump change!