How to Choose A College Based on Cost Factors

When students apply to schools, they need to determine which universities suit their academic interests best and what environments will make them happy. Discovering which schools offer programs which will help them earn an education to further their carers helps students to narrow down the field for applications. Not all colleges cost the same. For many high school students, factors in finding the right school include affordability. While financial aid programs exist, some students may not qualify. Others may be eligible for some government loans or school scholarships, but may not receive a full ride. These college students are left scrambling to come up with the rest of the money available, counting on parents and private student loans to supplement their funding. In some cases, high school seniors may be able to find college options that cost less without sacrificing the quality of education that they receive.

Location
The school's location when can have a significant impact on cost. Students on a limited budget may consider only schools in their state. It's cheaper. They will need to prove residence and can receive a noteworthy discount on tuition as compared to out-of-state students. Universities want to encourage the brightest and the best from their own state before they open their doors to others, so locals may have a better chance of acceptance in addition to a lower tuition fee. Public schools offer a lower price tag for families paying taxes in-state as compared to those paying taxes to other states.

Private Versus Public
Students looking for a lower college cost should consider a public institution over a private one. Private schools rely on student tuition and alumni contributions to operate, so they typically cost more to attend. While many private schools represent themselves as offering a superior education, there are many public universities that are also impressive. Private universities are more likely to take religious affiliations and ethnic backgrounds into consideration when screening applicants. This can work toward the applicant's advantage or disadvantage, depending on the situation. Private schools are typically smaller in campus size and enrollment, limiting their class size, where large large universities have well-planned facilities for large groups in general studies, with smaller class sizes in major-related studies.

Off Campus Versus On Campus Versus Home
For many students, the concept of going to college is equated with moving out of their parents' house. Living at home while attending college is less expensive, but is only possible if the university of interest is in commuting distance and carries the student's preferred major program of studies. Reliable transportation is required. Another option is taking online courses, which requires an aptitude for computers and motivation for independent study habits. Living on campus is often referred to as room and board and includes dormitories and apartment housing. Most everything a student needs is on hand. While less expensive than most off-campus housing options, on-campus opportunities are usually limited. Not all students qualify, although college freshmen who do not live at home are usually required to live on campus. Renting apartments and houses near the university are typically more expensive. They also require some form of transportation. Roommates and shared living expenses can less the financial burden, however. Government student loans and most scholarships does not cover living expenses and off-campus housing. Private student loans can be used for room and board, transportation, school supplies and daily living expenses.