How DecidED looks at affordability

  • Updated

Affordable colleges:

We define a college as affordable if you can afford to pay your tuition and housing with a healthy mix of work, loans, and/or family contributions.

    • Taking no more than $5,500 in Federal Loans and 
    • Working 0-10 hours a week while in school.

Somewhat Affordable colleges:

There are some schools that could still be an option for you, but in order to afford them you would need to stretch your work, loans, and family contribution to potentially high amounts. We believe that makes these schools only somewhat affordable if in order to pay for them, you will likely need to break one of our recommendations by:

    • Taking out more than $5,500 in loans
    • And/or working 15-20 hours a week while in school.

Not Affordable colleges: 

We define a college "Not Affordable" if attending that school puts you in a position where you are going to struggle to cover your college bill and housing even if you are working, have support from family, and are taking out federal and/or private loans. In order to pay for school you might be forced to take actions we don’t recommend, such as:

    • Taking out a risky amount in loans, potentially requiring higher interest Parent PLUS or Private loans 
    • And/or working 20+ hours a week.

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