For many, discussions surrounding college cost stress price without acknowledging long-term benefits. In making this kind of life decision, it is important for students and families to consider both price and benefit in determining value. Factors such as the direct support and mentoring a student receives as benefits of a Barnard education and life-long affiliation and access to a vibrant network of alumnae must also be part of that consideration. These factors are in addition to the actual educational experience. If the benefits and outcomes of the educational experience outweigh the cost, then the investment is worth the value of a Barnard diploma. It is up to a student and her family to determine whether your economic circumstances would make this choice possible.
Families should begin honest conversations about finances at the start of the college process. The Federal Government and colleges and universities expect families to be responsible for the portion of college costs they can reasonably afford, determined using standard financial aid formulas, both federal and institutional. As students research colleges, learning the ins and outs of the application process, so should families research college costs, financial aid policies and educational financing options.
Helpful resources for research can be found in the local public library, in most college counseling or guidance offices, and on the web. Many high school counseling often host free financial aid nights. Families may want to investigate savings plans, financial aid estimators, loan and outside scholarship opportunities, and make smart decisions about applying so that the best choices are available. And, the Net Price Calculator should provide the details necesary for families to evaluate next steps. Finally, honest, clear, and informed conversations will help these decisions go more smoothly. When the tuition bill is due, families will have choices and will be more prepared to answer questions about how to pay.
Barnard is committed to making the educational experience exceptional, offering opportunities to work with top-notch faculty, learn in new and exciting ways, and take advantage of experiences that go far beyond the classroom walls. Our commitment extends to helping families afford an education here. If a student is interested in Barnard, but feels the cost may be beyond her means, we urge her to apply for financial aid. We strive to make a Barnard education affordable through tuition payment plans, work-study, loans, and grants.
Financing a college education affects the whole family and, for many, requires exploring unfamiliar financial territory. By working with our financial aid office and exploring financing options, families are able to build a sound financial plan, permitting an educational experience that will provide intellectual and financial advantages for life. Each Barnard student graduates with a powerful curiosity about the world strengthened by the ability to ask the right questions and analyze the answers. Barnard students acquire skills in demand by employers of every description and will be well prepared for advanced study, representing a lifelong investment in the future.