Katie O'Brien
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Katie O'Brien in Senior Content Editor,

Private Higher Education Costs Less Than You Think

Image Credit: Flickr

The preconceived notions and concerns about college costs range far and wide. For example, the misconceptions that saving for college will prevent qualification for financial aid or only rich families can afford to send their children to four-year institutions, buzz around when the time comes for high school students begin applying for colleges.

However, one particular notion that needs debunking is that private university costs are so extremely higher than public that it becomes unaffordable for average family incomes to afford.

The 2008 recession contributed highly to the increase in college tuition due to funding cuts. Since then, tuition has been on the rise, The Washington Post reported. 

The costs of college tuition rose 28 percent since 2007; most visibly, the University of Arizona, a state university, increased tuition by 48 percent. This leaves students and graduates with thousands in debt, with the national average totaling $29,000 per student and $1 trillion across the board.

Although the overall prices of colleges have increased, this does not necessarily mean private schools are always less affordable than public. According to Scoolguides.com, a private higher education price, after financial aid and merit-based grants, could be cheaper than that of a public institution.

For example, the sticker price of Rice University in Houston, T.X., is approximately $56,316 per year. About 22 percent of students at Rice receive academic grants totaling $15,000.

Nationally, 44 percent of students receive merit-based grants than financial aid, coming in at 42 percent, according to Time Money. Depending on a family's financial circumstances, a private institution could provide a more affordable tuition option than a public.