When it comes to choosing a college and minimizing debt, forget prestige: Grant and merit aid are the way to go.
A recent study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers showed that private non-profit schools are offering incoming freshmen an average tuition discount of 49.9 percent. These tuition and fee discounts — which are grant awards — allow colleges to retain or attract students who can't or won't pay the full sticker price for their education.
For perspective, the average published tuition and fees at a private non-profit college was $37,040 during the 2017-2018 school year.
The association looked at 404 private colleges and universities.