The published college tuition is not likely the amount the average family will pay, as discounts in the form of merit scholarships increase every year. Thus, parents and students should not dismiss a college solely on price, but instead define value at a price they can afford.
In the recent school year, 2021-22, the average incoming college student received merit aid discounting the tuition paid to 45.5 cents on every published dollar. The average US private university discount on tuition for first year students was 54.5%, setting a new record high from 52.4% in 2020-21.
Furthermore, the 2021-22 discount rate for continuing undergraduates, those in their second, third, and fourth years, increased to 49%, from 47.6% in the 2020-21 school year. Thus, with many college degrees at half-price, reducing questions of affordability, families can instead focus on selecting the most valuable college education.
When families take the time to define value, students can consider a range of colleges based on an understanding of themselves gleaned from a lifetime of experience. Then, eventually, students can choose the college where they’ll continue discovering and gain confidence in an aptitude increasing the odds of finding economic prosperity.
Prudent families should follow the sage advice of Warren Buffet, “Value is what you get, price is what you pay” when investing in higher education for their adult children. And, at an estimated $93.4 Billion in net worth, Uncle Warren knows value, which is obtained through analysis and understanding.
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