It costs $76,623 to go to Dartmouth—here's how much students actually pay

Dartmouth College ski team members on hand to cheer their teammates competing during the NCAA Men's and Women's Slalom Skiing Championship on March 10, 2017 at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire.
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College is more expensive than ever before. According to the College Board's 2018 Trends in College Pricing Report, from 1988 to 2018, prices tripled at public four-year schools and doubled at public two-year and private non-profit four-year schools.

But at many of the country's most elite private institutions, large endowments, generous scholarships and sizable grants can mean that middle and low-income students pay significantly less than the published tuition price.

Students walk outside the Collis building on the campus of Dartmouth College, the smallest school in the Ivy League, in Hanover, New Hampshire.
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The total cost to attend Dartmouth for the 2019 - 2020 school year is $76,623, which includes tuition ($55,605), housing ($9,879), food ($6,495) and fees, as well as indirect costs like books ($1,005) and miscellaneous expenses ($2,040). This total does not include the school's health insurance plan ($3,248) or travel.

Dartmouth is "need-blind," and the school maintains that it does not take financial status into consideration during the application process. According to Dartmouth's website, students from families earning less than $100,000 receive free tuition, and the average scholarship amount is $47,833.

Students receiving aid are expected to work over the summer to contribute towards other costs. For the 2018 - 2019 academic year, first-year students are expected to contribute between $1,000 and $2,000 and returning students are expected to contribute between $1,500 and $3,000.

All parents are expected to contribute at least $5,000 each year, and a cost estimator provided by the school allows families to find out how much a Dartmouth education will run them.

A group of students meet on the lawn outside Webster Hall on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
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But while students from families making less than $100,000 may qualify for free tuition at Dartmouth, most students come from families earning considerably more.

According to The New York Times, the median family income of a student at Dartmouth is $200,400. Roughly 69% of Dartmouth students come from the highest-earning 20% of American households, or those who earn $110,000 or more per year. A little more than one-fifth come from the highest-earning 1% of American households, or those who make over $630,000 per year. The Times reports that Dartmouth is one of 38 colleges in the U.S. that enrolls more students from the top 1% than from the entire bottom 60%.

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