Who is eligible for a tuition discount?

If you’ve heard that there are tuition discounts for college students, you might be thinking of financial aid. 

Depending on the college you decide to attend, you may be able to request a tuition discount or remission, which is basically a financial waiver based on your expected family contribution, academic standing, and demographic background. 

Tuition discounts are not the same as walking into a store and seeing something for 50% off. To be considered for a discount, you first need to apply for the FAFSA®. The application allows a school to see your financial situation and determine whether you’re eligible for grants, scholarships, or tuition discounts.

What is a tuition discount?

A tuition discount is when your school looks at your financial standing (from your FAFSA® application) and determines whether they’ll provide you with grants to aid your tuition costs. This “discount” refers to the “ratio of total institutional grant aid relative to gross tuition revenues” at the school you’ll be attending. 

Most schools only offer discounts based on what you or your family can afford to pay. If you feel that they cannot provide you with enough financial aid, you can file for aid appeal and begin discussing additional discount options. 

Do all colleges give discounts?

All federally accredited colleges have some way of providing supplemental financial aid, whether through grants or scholarships, to help discount tuition. This is generally to attract students from all walks of life and allow them to get an education at a reasonable price.

Financial aid is not the same for everyone, so your friend’s package will likely not look like yours. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to request additional assistance or aid to discount your tuition further. 

How do colleges determine discounts?

They look at your FAFSA® application and use their own formula to determine how much they feel you and your family can contribute to your tuition. 

From there, they award you with scholarships, institutional and federal grants, as well as work-study and student loan options, to help supplement your tuition costs. 

How Do I Get a Tuition Discount?

You have a few options when it comes to a tuition discount. 

File your FAFSA®

The first step is filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This will give the school insight into your financial situation to determine how much you can afford. 

Next up, you get an aid award letter that outlines your discounts and awards. The average discount from award packages in the 2015-16 school year was about 49%. 

Submit an Aid Appeal

If you don’t feel your tuition has been discounted enough, you can file for aid appeal. This will be your opportunity to tell the school why you need additional help. You will need to require proof of your financial circumstances and eloquently plead your case.

As you can see, there are many options for getting your tuition discounted.