Hamline News

May 28, 2014

Good Advice about Paying for College

How to finance a degree is a major factor in the college decision for most families. Thankfully, there are numerous resources that help take the stress and confusion out of paying for a four-year private college education. Minnesota’s Private Colleges Council (with the help of a variety of contributors) produced a series of videos that present tips from experts and families about how to make a private college most affordable.

Common questions are answered and concerns are addressed in this 20-minute video, including: Key steps for families, working with financial aid offices, benefits of a private college, finding the net price of college, and examples of how families make it work. Watch the full video below or click the titles below the video for information about individual segments. The Minnesota Private Colleges Council also presents the Paying for College videos in Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. If you have other questions about attending Hamline or the different financial aid options available for our students,please email our Undergraduate Admission Office or call 651-523-2207.
  




Why A Private College?
(this clip begins at the 0:23 mark)
This clip addresses the question: Why should we choose a private college instead of a state university? The benefits of a private college are outlined, including: High graduation rates, small communities, personalized attention, and student career preparation. Statistics on private colleges have shown that students are more likely to graduate in four years, and some colleges — like Hamline — offer four-year graduation assurance (see details on Hamline’s graduation assurance policy). Moreover, faculty to student ratios and class sizes both tend to be smaller at private institutions as opposed to public schools.

Finding the Net Price(this clip begins at the 3:00 mark)
Hamline student Libby Otto, featured in this video clip, says she is paying less at Hamline than she would have to attend the state school she was considering. Despite common perceptions, private colleges can be just as or more affordable than public institutions due to need and merit-based awards. Often private colleges offer about half the sticker price in gift aid which does not need to be repaid. Tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses are all the cost of attendance, which is then subtracted from grants, scholarships, and gift money, and that equals the net price or out-of-pocket expense to your family.

How Families Make it Work (this clip begins at the 8:00 mark)
For many families, even after finding the net price and being aware of gift money, costs can be intimidating. The annual FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form is the first step for families to determine their eligibility for financial aid from a variety of federal programs. Pell grants, Minnesota grants, Stafford loans, and Parent Plus loans are all possibilities for financial assistance. Having students take advantage of work-study opportunities and encouraging saving habits are also helpful.

Key Steps (this clip begins at the 15:40 mark)
In this clip, key steps are laid out for parents and students in order to maximize the ease of planning for college expenses. Key steps include: Start saving early, keep your options open, search for private scholarships, complete the FAFSA form, compare financial aid packages, and consider the value of the program you’re paying for.