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What Does it Cost to Attend Centre College?

As one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States, Centre College offers students the opportunity to learn in a close-knit community and receive personalized attention from faculty and staff. Located in Danville, Kentucky, the college offers students the benefits of living in a quaint small-town environment allowing them focus on their academic and professional goals.


As a parent, you may naturally wonder what it would cost to send your student to Centre, especially if your student is leaning towards private schools and liberal arts colleges in general. We’re going to break down all of the factors you need to consider when deciding if Centre College is right for your student and your family.

Why College Costs Are Highly Variable

The cost of a college education varies significantly from school to school and family to family. Although taking a look at the list price of the school does provide some information about a school’s affordability, it’s more important to consider what the net cost will be to your family, or what you’ll actually pay out of pocket.


Your net cost is going to be influenced by the amount of financial aid that your student can expect to receive from a variety of sources. In particular, your student may qualify for need-based aid from the government, and the institution itself might award your student a combination of need-based and merit-based aid. But even for students who don’t qualify for need-based funding, private merit scholarships can help reduce the net cost to your family.


At the end of the day, very few families pay the full list price, although the exact amount that families pay will vary. Let’s look at the general cost of attendance at Centre College and see how the above factors can make college more affordable.

Centre College’s List Price

The list price, or the cost of attendance as most schools refer to it, includes the most common expenses associated with a college education. This includes things like tuition and fees, room, board, and any other miscellaneous costs of living like transportation or even laundry.


While the list price doesn’t give us a complete picture of what you’ll be paying, it’s a good starting point to see how financial aid can then lower the cost of attendance. During the 2016-2017 school year, in-state and out-of-state students could expect to pay around $52,460.


Although most families don’t pay the full list price, there are a few families that will. If your household income exceeds $175,000 a year and your student doesn’t qualify for any institutional merit aid, then you are probably going to be paying full price. We’ll go over how any student can lower their net cost later in this post, regardless of income.

What is the Price with Financial Aid?

We hope that you’re feeling some relief knowing that it’s unlikely that you will have to pay full price for your student’s education. So what can you expect to pay when you factor in financial aid? On average, the net cost for both in-state and out-of-state students is $45,049.

Cost Based on Household Income

Although the above average may seem high, we can give you a more specific net cost based on your family income. Below you’ll find the average net price for different income levels:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $16,359
$30,001-$48,000 $17,629
$48,001-$75,000 $18,807
$75,001-$110,000 $23,578
Over $110,000 $27,690

What is the Merit Aid Net Price? What is the Average Net Price for Students Without Need?

Merit aid is a form of financial aid that is usually administered on a need-blind basis, meaning that it’s not dependent on household income. If your family is near or above the $175,000 mark, then merit aid is one of the primary ways that your student can help reduce your net cost.


At Centre College, most students who don’t have need receive some form of merit aid—93% to be exact. The average merit aid award of $20,373 is pretty substantial as well, reducing the net price for in-state and out-of-state students to $32,087. Because of its large merit aid award size, Centre College ranks 57th in a pool of over 1000 schools we analyzed for merit aid generosity.

Loans and Debt

Even with merit aid and need-based aid, most students still have some educational costs that they have to pay for out-of-pocket. At Centre College, exactly 50% of their students take out loans, and the average size of the federal student loan is $4,527.


Any school that your student chooses to attend will be a financial investment on the part of your family. As a result, it’s important to consider the graduation rate and the average salary of graduates.


While your student’s own ambition and work ethic will mostly determine their success, it’s good to know that schools like Centre College are supportive of students in this regard. Centre College has a six-year graduation rate of 86%, and after ten years the average graduate earns $45,500 a year.

Local Cost of Living Considerations

Aside from just how the cost of attendance and financial aid plays into the affordability of a college, you’ll want to look at the city surrounding a school to make sure you want your student to attend. Luckily, the cost of living index in Danville, Kentucky is 86.5, meaning that it’s about 13.5% cheaper than the national average.


Centre College requires all students to live on-campus and purchase a meal plan option. There are only a few exceptions to this rule, such as if a student is married or has children, or if the student plans to live at home with their family in Danville.


Students may apply to live off-campus, but very few requests are granted annually, and the ones that are granted are awarded to seniors. Moving off-campus may impact your student’s financial aid, so it’s important that you review what effect moving off-campus would have before you make your final decision.

Other Ways to Save

No matter your income level, there is bound to be some costs associated with an education that you will be expected to pay out-of-pocket. If you want to minimize your student’s need to take out any loans, here are some of the best ways you and your student can still save money:


Working. Tried and true, encouraging your student to find part-time employment can help cover some of your student’s expenses. While it’s unlikely that your student will be able to totally cover the remaining cost of their education on a part-time income, every bit helps. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the minimum wage in Kentucky is $7.25, and the average hourly wage across all occupations is $20.39.


Institution specific scholarships. Although there are many general merit scholarships that students are automatically considered for when they submit their application, Centre also offers several scholarships that require an additional application. Encourage your student to apply for any which they may be eligible for, and learn about the qualifications for each on Centre’s website.


Private scholarships. In addition to scholarships at Centre, your student can apply for scholarships from nonprofit organizations and private corporations to help reduce your net cost. One example is the prestigious National Merit Scholarship, where even Finalists and Semi-Finalists may receive scholarships from other organizations based on their achievements. Merit scholarships can help you and your student keep your financial stress at a minimum.

Wrapping It Up

We hope that you’ve found that sending your student to their dream school is a lot more doable than you first anticipated. Through a combination of financial aid from a variety of sources, your student can reduce your net cost significantly and minimize the need to take out any loans.


If you’re looking for personalized guidance about college affordability, we’ve got you covered. As part of our College Applications Program, our Finances tool shows students the ROI of different schools and majors and help students identify scholarships to apply for. On average, our students earn about $83,000 in scholarships, which can cover the cost of a year of college at virtually any school. Find out if working with our Financial Aid Tools is right for your family!


For more information about financial aid, check out these posts:


How to Maximize Your Child’s Merit Aid Eligibility


Parents: 12 Must-Know College Financial Aid Terms


FAFSA, CSS Profile, IDOC, Oh My: A Guide to Financial Aid


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.