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Thoughtful Answers to 5 Important Questions Parents Are Asking about College Affordability

Thoughtful Answers to 5 Important Questions Parents Are Asking about College Affordability

February 3, 2017

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We understand that choosing a college for your son or daughter is a big decision. As you help your student work through the process, you probably have a lot of questions. In today's post, we provide thoughtful answers to some of the most common questions we hear from parents. As always, you may contact our Admissions office at 1-800-CEDARVILLE. We are here to serve you in any way we can!

Is Cedarville affordable?

Thanks to a combination of Cedarville scholarships along with federal and state aid, more students than ever are able to afford a Cedarville education. Students from all income levels are finding ways to make Cedarville work for them.

How are tuition dollars used?

For Cedarville, costs are not just about competitive position or affordability. Costs impact mission. We are equipping undergraduate and graduate students to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. That mission may be “priceless,” but the price tag is very real. Cedarville puts two-thirds of tuition dollars back into the students’ education through instruction and academic support. We work hard to be good stewards of the money entrusted to us.

What is Cedarville doing about costs? 

We place a high priority on making the Cedarville experience affordable. And our budget reflects that commitment. Financial aid resources have increased by more than 50 percent in the past five years.

If my student needs to take out a loan to close the gap, how much debt is reasonable? 

The answer will be unique to each student and should reflect careful thought and prayer along with an understanding of future career plans and anticipated earnings. One rule of thumb is to borrow no more than you expect to earn the first year after graduation. Other financial experts recommend limiting total student borrowing to an amount that will keep loan payments below 8 to 10 percent of pretax income.

Very similar to national averages, about two-thirds of Cedarville students graduate with debt at a level slightly lower than the private college average. With one of the lowest default rates in the U.S. (just 2 percent) and career placement rates well ahead of national averages (97% for 2016 graduates), Cedarville students appear to be wisely managing their financial obligations.

Why pay more for Cedarville when there are less expensive options? 

Choosing a university based on tuition alone can be a costly risk. A school that boasts low tuition may not be the bargain you expect if it fails to graduate students on time. State schools typically graduate just one-third of students in four years. Be sure to inquire about room and board, too. Rates can vary by several thousand dollars, with an average cost of $10,440 at public colleges and $11,890 at private colleges. This is significantly higher than Cedarville’s rate of $7,088. Other costly surprises come in the form of college fees. These can increase a student’s bill by hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. Fees can be assessed for a wide range of services such as student activities, technology, library, health insurance, graduation, parking, and many more.

Ask direct and specific questions when comparing college costs. More and more students are finding that Cedarville’s costs, when financial aid is considered, are not significantly more than even public alternatives.

But think bigger picture and longer term, too. The best option — in nearly all purchasing decisions — is rarely the cheapest. That applies to colleges and universities as well. Since higher education is one of the most important investments you’ll make, consider and compare carefully each institution’s spiritual vibrancy, academic reputation, residence life options, career placement rates, faculty credentials, and distance from home as part of the overall decision.

Posted in Admissions Affordability Financial Aid Why Christ Centered Higher Education?