Scholarships Are Great, But How Much Will You Actually Pay?

Scholarships Are Great, But How Much Will You Actually Pay?

Feb 20, 2018 / By : / Category : Financial, Scholarships

How much will college cost?

Scholarships and aid are wonderful, but it is what you actually pay that really matters!

  • Don’t get caught up in how large an athletic scholarship is offered.
  • Don’t get caught up in the details of the financial aid package: the athletic scholarship and other scholarships or aid a school is handing out.

The Bottom Line

That is exactly what every school wants. They want you excited about the details, how many scholarships they’ve given you. But that is not what matters. Multiple scholarships do not matter. Only one thing matters. The final out of pocket expense for your education is the bottom line.

My son just received an award letter from a private school. The clear emphasis was how much we were going to save off the $40,000 sticker price. Down in the bottom right corner is the amount we would owe. Even after years of telling others to focus on the bottom line, I still talked excitedly with my son about how much we “saved”, not the incredibly large number we would still owe each year.

Sticker Price

Every college or university advertises a tuition “sticker price.” They expect almost nobody to pay the sticker price. They want you to be excited about the discounted rate you will receive. Schools need to have the average student pay a certain minimum amount of money to the institution. This is called a “discount rate;” the average amount each student is paying for their education. Every school is beholden to these dollars to survive.

Everybody likes to receive a scholarship, it’s fun, but your bottom line is the discount rate (that number in the bottom right corner that says how much you actually owe).

Division 3

Division 3 Many athletes will not even consider a Division 3 school because they think the lack of athletic scholarships makes the school unaffordable. Here’s the secret: every school has a set amount of money to hand out in scholarships to reach their discount rate. For the consumer (that’s you) the label attached to the scholarship shouldn’t matter. At Division 3 schools, academic awards are often significantly higher because the allotted money cannot be labeled as athletic. It does not mean there are not good deals for student-athletes, they are just receiving the money under different terms. They are being treated like every other student applying for admissions. You may not end up with a “baseball” scholarship, but the total amount of scholarship money offered to you could possibly be higher than an athletic scholarship from a Division 1 or 2 university.

The Marketing Campaign

Don’t be a victim of the marketing campaign. Work through the financial aid process at several schools and look for the amount you will pay to attend each school. What you actually have to pay out of pocket and in loans is what really matters!

Do not let these realities discourage you. There are good financial packages to be found at Division 1, 2, 3 and NAIA schools. You just have to spend the time finding the right school with the right total financial package. I would encourage you to find the best value you can, at a school you like, regardless of whether the scholarship is listed as “athletic” or not.

Only 7% of all high school athletes are able to experience the life changing experience of college athletics. If your passion is to play in college, you need a plan to get there.

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