Lutheran College Values
You may be worrying about how your family will pay college tuition and fees. You know that America’s Lutheran colleges offer great educational value, but will you be able to afford it? It’s tempting to compare private college and public university tuition, and assume that you just can’t afford a private education. Don’t jump to that conclusion without looking past “sticker price”:
Over three quarters of Lutheran college students, at all income levels, receive financial aid – much of it in grants and scholarships that do not have to be repaid. At some Lutheran colleges, as many as 80 percent, 85 percent, or more receive financial aid – with individual colleges offering average grants that range from $8,000 to $14,000 or more per year. Never assume your household income makes you ineligible for financial aid!
Most Lutheran colleges also offer a variety of scholarships that are not based on financial need, but instead reward a student’s academic achievement or talent in a particular area, or support specific career goals.
Our financial aid officers know that a family’s financial situation can change suddenly, with job change or loss, or unexpected medical expenses. They’ll work with you to ensure that your son or daughter’s education is not interrupted.
A high percentage of public university students take five or more years to graduate, paying more of that “cheaper” tuition, and foregoing a year or more of income – which now averages around $30,000 for a recent college graduate. The vast majority of Lutheran college students graduate in four years, saving a year or more in tuition, and entering the workforce sooner.
Most financial aid awards include student loans – but with low interest rates, long repayment periods and payment deferral while the student is in school, these loans do not create an unmanageable burden. At one prominent Lutheran university, for example, the average total debt for loan recipients who graduated in 2001 was $18,000. Under a typical repayment plan, this works out to $215 per month, or about eight percent of the average graduate’s $30,000 salary.
The earlier you start thinking about paying for college, the better. There’s a wide variety of saving and financing options that could bring a Lutheran college education within reach.
You may want to review The Lutheran College Advantage, Investing in Value and Your Values, Our Value. These brochures detail independent survey results demonstrating that Lutheran colleges and universities are exceptional "value-based communities of learning." They also include helpful information about how to finance a Lutheran college education. For free copies email RIS@elca.org with your name and mailing address, or you may call 800/638-3522 and request copies.
Statistics and content courtesy Lutheran Educational Conference of North America.