When it comes figuring out how they'll pay for college, many families start by shying away from pricey private schools.
Yes, annual tuition plus room and board at four-year, private universities is much higher — $48,510, on average in the current academic year — compared with just $21,370 at public institutions, according to the College Board.
However, about two-thirds of all full-time students receive aid, which can bring the net price way down.
Your net price is a college's tuition and fees minus grants, scholarships and education tax benefits, according to the College Board.
In fact, the top schools for financial aid all have sky-high sticker prices, yet their very generous aid packages make them surprisingly affordable, according to The Princeton Review.
"Don't make the tragic mistake of crossing an expensive school off your list of consideration," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's editor-in-chief and author of "The Best Value Colleges."
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