How much do low-income students pay at Minnesota's private colleges?

Recently came across this chart by the Minnesota Private College Council, which looks to counter the notion that private colleges are too expensive for low-income students.

It says they pay significantly less than the average student: $14,350 on average (for those families earning less than $30,000), compared to $23,500 for the average student who attended in 2009-10.

The amount is lower because those students receive State Grant awards, Pell Grants, institutional grants and scholarships.

That is, of course, true across all types of educational institutions.

The council states:

In Minnesota, low-income students may pay higher net tuition at nonprofit colleges than at public institutions, but their chances of graduating in four years and starting their career are much higher.

The 4-year  graduation rate for students, according to its numbers:

  • 65 percent at Council schools
  • 40 percent at the University of Minnesota
  • 21 percent for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system students
  • My daughter is going to apply to colleges this year, so this is very interesting to me! A few questions: By “net comprehensive costs,” do they mean total cost of degree over four years or yearly cost? I am assuming the first, but it’s not explained in the report you linked to (and I don’t have time to read the report 🙂 ) Would this be  equivalent to the FAFSA “expected family contribution” amount for the same period of time, or did they use another metric?

    • John Manning

      On the first part of your question, the answer is that this is the annual cost, not the cost over four years. We do have a different analysis that looks at likely costs for a degree, one that includes the price of delayed graduation if that takes more than four years. You can find that here:

      Let me kow if that’s helpful! Thanks / John Manning (communications director at the Minnesota Private College council)