Finding Affordable Christian Colleges

Liberal artsYou know that you want to attend a four-year college, but you don’t know how you are going to pay for it. Whether you are from a single-parent household or you are the first person to ever attend college from your family, negotiating the financial aid process in an effort to find affordable Christian colleges can be a frightening task. Based on statistics provided by the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014-2015 school year was $31,231 for all private colleges, $9,139 in-state public colleges, and $22,958 for out-of-state public colleges. Additional data from College Board notes that over the 30 years from 1984-85 to 2014-15, average tuition and fees at private four-year colleges rose by 146%, from $12,716 (in 2014 dollars) to $31,231. The average tuition cost at public two-year colleges rose by 150%, from $1,337 to $3,347, and the increase for in-state students at public four-year institutions increased 225%, from $2,810 to $9,139.

As college tuition costs have increased over the last 30 years, more and more colleges have sought to find unique ways to help students afford a quality education. One way that many private colleges have made education more affordable for students is through institutional scholarships through the college itself.

These scholarships come in the form of merit-based aid, talent scholarships, need-based scholarships and/or grants, and other endowed scholarships. A sure fire way to make college more affordable is to take advantage of these scholarships. Work to improve your GPA throughout high school along with improving your SAT/ACT results. Many of the academic scholarships available to you are based on these two academic scores.

Additionally, you may want to consider using your athletic or fine arts talents at the collegiate level to secure a talent scholarship. Again, many private colleges offer thousands of dollars in talent-based scholarships to those who participate in fine arts programs or majors, or for those who are talented enough to earn a scholarship roster spot on an athletic team.

Lastly, ask about how to apply for private scholarships or other endowed scholarships. Often times there are scholarships available for students who are seeking an education in a specific field. These scholarships could apply to students entering the healthcare field, those going into education, or those who intend to work in the non-profit industry, among others.

As you look for affordable Christian colleges, you should be asking about the above scholarships that are available to you. The earlier you ask, the less likely you are to miss important scholarship deadlines that could keep you from being able to attend your dream school.

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