As high school seniors are considering where to apply for college, here are some good reasons to look at a list of top schools published by Forbes.
- They are on the Princeton Reviews list of "Best Colleges"
- They offer tuition discounts to qualifying applicants.
- They had trouble attracting enough freshmen during the last application season.
Forbes calls them "50 Great Colleges Desperately Seeking Students".
With the "free-market pricing" integral to the college admissions process, even higher-income families may find significant tuition discounting at these colleges.
Talk to college admissions officers at these “space available” schools and you begin to get a glimpse of free-market pricing that goes on behind the scenes at private and public colleges. The fact is, regardless of a family’s income or asset level, many colleges make deals with families, offering significant rebates to their advertised prices.
Take for example, private liberal arts-oriented Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The school is located in a leafy rural hamlet two hours east of Pittsburgh and has an undergraduate enrollment of around 1,500. It’s listed in Princeton Review’s 377 Best Colleges 2013 Edition as being known for its pre-med offerings and small classes and a great theatre program. The cost to attend Juniata per year is estimated at nearly $48,000.
However 99% of incoming undergraduates receive tuition rebates or grants from the college. If your teen has SAT scores for math and critical reading that add up to at least 1200 and has a decent GPA, you should expect out of pocket costs of no more than half the advertised amount per year, even if your annual household income is more than $200,000.
Here are some of the schools on the list:
- New College Of Florida – Sarasota, FL
- St. Johns College -- Annapolis, MD
- Missouri University Of Science & Technology -- Rolla, MO
- St. Johns College --Santa Fe, N
- University of Maryland -- College Park, MD
- Lewis & Clark College -- Portland, OR
- Knox College -- Galesburg, IL
- Illinois Institute Of Technology – Chicago, IL
- Marlboro College -- Marlboro, VT
- Beloit College -- Beloit, WI
The complete detailed list has information about costs and grant aid, as well as 75th percentile SAT scores that can give an indication about the stats needed to qualify for tuition discounts.
(A version of this post previously appeared on Cost of College blog.)