1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Sticker price…and why it doesn’t matter.

Game of Loans3

Let’s do an exercise. Without considering tuition and fees, list the schools that you are most interested in applying.


Why? We’ll let you in on a secret: cost is one of the biggest misconceptions in college admissions. Take everything you know about the true price of college tuition and toss it.

Here’s why you should apply to your top colleges, regardless of sticker price:

1. Sticker price is NOT how much you will pay. The price you pay to a college is called “actual cost.” Actual cost is the amount of money left after subtracting money provided in what is called your “financial aid award package.” College financial aid award packages include merit scholarships, grants, work study, and loans. Actual cost is what matters.

AvgFinAidPackgHere’s an example…our average financial aid award package last year was $26,643. Imagine you receive this average award. If you subtract it from tuition and fees of $37,290, you are left with an actual cost of tuition and fees of $10,647.

While this is not the full, encompassing cost (i.e. room and board, books, etc.) it gives you an idea of how sticker price and actual price can be significantly different. Plus, this scenario doesn’t include any on- or off-campus part time jobs or external funding you may receive! The lesson is: don’t rule out a school because of sticker price. You’ll be surprised which options are best come April.

2. It doesn’t matter how much your family income is…you can attend Transy. Our students come from every socioeconomic background. In fact, nearly half of our student’s annual family income is less than $80,000.


3. Everyone plays the game of loans. While you often hear about students receiving “full rides” to college, the reality is this is a small part of the overall student population. Today, more than ever, top scholarships are very competitive and hard to come by.

For most individuals, loans are a common practice when purchasing a new car or paying for a home. They are big expenses worthy of a big investment. If you think about it, education isn’t any different. Would you rather buy a Volvo or a Lexus? Which has more bells and whistles? Which is more reliable? Which is safer? And, which will get you where you want to go? Is it worth paying a bit more for security, comfort, and great mileage? You can ask the same of a great education!

And if you do have to take out loans, here’s the good news: student loans are considered “good credit”. (Yes, there is such a thing!) Good credit is credit that when paid regularly and steadily helps you establish a positive credit score. A credit score a number makes you eligible (or not eligible) to receive loans for purchases of expensive items, such as cars and homes, later in life.

It’s worthwhile to know that Transy grads take out 15% fewer loans than the national average of other private school borrowers and nearly $1,000 less than the average student who takes loans from Kentucky public colleges. So even if you have to take loans, you will pay your loans off faster, with greater ease, and help you earn a positive credit score that will help you in your post-graduation life.

4. Private schools may be cheaper than public schools. When you compare cost, look at tuition, actual cost, and graduation rate. Only 1 in 3 students graduate in four years from public institutions.

4-yearpublic copy

Think it won’t be you? It may not, but history is not on your side. Just a small road bump, like changing majors or taking a class or two out of order, can easily result in extra time and money. So, the next time you compare colleges, data suggests you should tack on an additional extra year of tuition and fees to each public school, then compare to other options since that is the reality of most students.

Ultimately, cost matters, but sticker price doesn’t. Don’t let sticker price deter you from applying to a college that may be best fit for you!

For more in-depth information about sticker price and how you can make Transylvania a possibility for you and your family, visit our website, contact us by email at admissions@transy.edu or by phone at (859) 233-8242.