How to negotiate for more college financial aid

Source: Robin Coccomo

Robin Coccomo, and her son Paul, 18, at home.

However, all of those schools are expensive. The cost for tuition plus room and board at a four-year private school hit $48,510 for the current school year, according to the College Board. At public four-year institutions, the total was about half of that, though still $21,370 on average.

To bridge the gap, about two-thirds of all full-time students receive aid, which can bring the net price way down. “If we can negotiate a little bit of a bump in aid, it would make it manageable,” Coccomo said.

Schools are often receptive to appeals for more aid; they just don’t advertise it, experts say.

We’ve had students increase their aid by as much as $120,000,” said Zack Perkins, the co-founder of CollegeVine, a college admission guidance site.

“That initial aid offer is the starting point,” he said. “It’s more like an opening bid.”

The best way to make such a request is to write a letter to the school’s financial aid office, Perkins advised.

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