Your Guide to Comparing the Cost of Colleges

Tips and tricks from financial aid pros for students and their families.

1 min. read

At Keuka College, we make a top-notch, private education affordable for all families. Thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents, trustees, and friends of the College, we are able to award generous scholarships to more than 97% of our students — something unavailable at public institutions. Comparing the cost of two or more colleges side-by-side can be a confusing task, but this guide will help.

Your financial aid award will be unique to your family. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” comparison, we have created the following examples to help illustrate what you may see. Our Office of Financial Aid will gladly help you compare awards from multiple institutions. 

Many find that Keuka College is actually more affordable than similar public and private colleges. We strive to offer as much financial assistance as possible based upon availability and financial need.

Comparison Tips

  • Compare award letters from each college line by line. Some colleges may include loans, grants, or scholarships that other institutions do not. Make sure you calculate, for each school, how much you will be borrowing over your entire college experience.
  • The maximum amount in federal loans an entering freshman may borrow in their first year is $5,500. If your award letter indicates a higher amount, it may include additional loans (i.e., Parent PLUS or private loans). 

  • Be sure to confirm that you qualify for a work-study award at other colleges you’re considering. KC offers a $2,000 work-study award to every student, while other institutions may only award that based on need.

Sample Side-by-Side Comparison

  Keuka College Similar Private College Public College
Tuition $30,823 $39,200 $6870
Fees $1,220 $1,500 $3228
Room & Board $11,906 $14,910 $13723
Total Direct Cost $42,949 $55,610 $23821
Federal & State Aid ($8,678) ($8,676) ($3,000)
Grants & Scholarships ($16,750) ($20,000) ($3,000)
ETA/Excelsior Scholarship ($0) $0 ($3,870)
Estimated Net Price $18,521 $26,932 $13,951
Loans ($5,500) ($5,500) ($5,500)
Work-Study ($2,000) ($2,000) $0
Total Out of Pocket/Year $11,021 $19,432 $8,451

Based on 2018-19 rates