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What Does it Cost to Attend Davidson College?

Not all colleges and universities are created equal, varying in factors including majors, housing, extracurriculars, and cost. And while comparing some aspects of colleges is relatively straightforward, others such as cost are not so clear-cut.


The main mistake students make when weighing the cost of an institution is using the published price rather than the net cost. Net cost is the published price of a college minus any financial aid or scholarships the student receives. It is the best metric for comparing the cost of colleges, as it shows what the student will actually pay out of pocket.


The truth is very few students pay full price for Davidson College. Those who do are typically from families making more than $175,000 a year, or are students not in Davidson’s top 30% of accepted applicants. Keep reading to get a better idea of the real cost of attending Davidson College.


What is the List Price at Davidson College?


In 2016-2017, the list price for both in- and out-of-state students at Davidson College was $64,698; this includes tuition and room and board. However, keep in mind the majority of students who paid the published price were from high-income families. Case in point, the average net cost of Davidson for a student without the need for financial aid was $61,850, only slightly less than the list price.


What is the Financial Aid Net Price of Davidson College?


The financial aid net price of a school is the published price minus any grants the student receives. The financial aid net price is useful as it offers an accurate representation of the actual expense of college. For example, the average net cost of Davidson College with financial aid is $54,267—more than $10,000 less than the list price.


Davidson College attracts a diverse student body, including students from a wide range of financial backgrounds. Due to the varying financial needs of its student body, the cost of Davidson College will differ depending on the income of the student’s family. Below is a list of what Davidson students can expect to pay based on their family’s income:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $8,163
$30,001-$48,000 $9,010
$48,001-$75,000 $11,982
$75,001-$110,000 $17,498
$110,000 $39,244


What is the Merit Aid Net Price of Davidson College?


Merit aid is awarded typically as a scholarship for reasons including, but not limited to, academic success, athletic skills, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. Merit aid net price accounts for these funds by subtracting them from the published price of a college. At Davidson, 9.1% of students without financial need receive merit aid, with the average amount awarded is $2,848.


Davidson College ranked 631st in our analysis of over 1,000 schools for merit aid and generosity.


How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Davidson College?


Davidson College is a no-loan school, meaning that the institution itself will not include loans in their financial aid packages, instead replacing them with grants. That being said, some students still take out federal loans if they find that financial aid isn’t enough to make attendance completely affordable.


67% of students enrolled at Davidson College have taken out a student loan, with the average amount of federal student loans per undergraduate student being $3,341 total across all four years.


Student Outcomes at Davidson College


As expected from a well-respected and highly sought after institution such as Davidson, attending students can expect a positive return on their investment in the college. Davidson graduates 95% of students in six years, and the average salary of graduates after ten years is $58,900.  


Local Area Cost of Living Considerations


Living in Davidson, North Carolina—the home of Davidson College—is not cheap. Davidson has a cost of living index of 130.3, making it substantially more expensive than the national average of 100, as well as the average in North Carolina which is 96.2.


Average Apartment Rental


Davidson is a residential college committed to creating a community on campus; because of this, 93% of students live on campus. However, due to the fluctuating demand for on-campus housing, permission to live off campus is granted to some students.


According to Sperling’s Best Places, students living off campus can expect to pay $980 a month for a one-bedroom apartment or $1,130 for a two-bedroom apartment. Of course, prices will vary depending on everything from the apartment’s location to its condition.




The minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25 an hour. Numerous service jobs are available in Davidson’s quaint downtown, and more options are available in the neighboring town of Cornelius. Just 20 miles away, the city of Charlotte offers even more opportunity.


Students on internships can expect to exceed the minimum wage; according to Indeed, the average wage of an intern in Charlotte is $11.45 an hour. Jobs in retail also exceed the minimum wage, with the average hourly rate of a retail associate in Charlotte being $12.17.


Other Ways to Help Fund a College Education


Work-study is one way that students help fund their Davidson education. All Davidson students are eligible for on-campus employment, although priority is given to students receiving Federal Work-Study awards. Davidson is committed to its work-study program; the college employs roughly 800 students who spend approximately 100,000 hours in support of faculty and staff.


A variety of scholarships are available to Davidson students with a significant interest in a particular field of study, a commitment to service, or who have special talents in the arts. For instance, the Patricia Cornwell Creative Writing Scholarship is offered to one student in each first-year class who demonstrates exceptional talent and a passion for writing. Another example is the Pepper Visual Arts Scholarship, which is for students with exceptional talent and promise in the field of visual art.


Part-time work is another popular method for college students to cover at least a portion of their costs while pursuing a degree. As mentioned above, numerous service jobs are available in Davidson and its neighboring communities. Also, due to the college’s sterling reputation, Davidson students are prized within the local community for services such as tutoring.


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Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.