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What Does it Cost to Attend Franklin and Marshall College?

Saving for college is a reality for many families, especially as the average college price tag continues to rise. According to CNN, the average out-of-pocket price of a four-year degree from a private university reached over $100,000 in 2016, and it’s only gone up since. It’s no wonder that funding a college education is something that many families plan ahead for.


When it comes time to budget for the cost of a college education, though, many families are surprised to learn that the task is made even more difficult by unpredictable college costs. The number of factors influencing college costs can make predicting the amount that your family will pay out of pocket pretty confusing. That’s why in this series of posts, CollegeVine analyzes over 1,000 colleges to narrow down just how much your family might expect to spend at each. In this post, we look at how much you might spend on an education at Franklin and Marshall College.  


Why Are College Costs So Variable?


The amount that any family pays for college relies on numerous factors, and it’s rare for all these factors to align in the same way from one family to another. This means that the amounts that families pay out of pocket, even at the same colleges, is highly variable.


One of the biggest factors in how much families pay for college is a college’s list price. This is basically the sticker price and it typically includes all required costs of attending the school, like tuition, room and board, and fees. At some colleges, particularly those with a large number of commuter students, certain costs like room and board may not be included. Make sure you know exactly what the list price includes before you compare it to other list prices.


While list price is a good starting point when considering college costs, there are more useful data points for the majority families. Net cost is the amount that a family pays out of pocket after receiving a combination of forms of financial assistance. Net cost varies depending on how much assistance a family receives from federal, state, and local aid, institutional aid, and merit scholarships. The average net cost at a college can give you a clearer picture of how much money the average family actually spends there.


What is the List Price at Franklin and Marshall?


During the 2016-2017 school year the average list price at Franklin and Marshall was $67,880. Because Franklin and Marshall is a private institution, the list price is the same for all students no matter where their state of residence is.


Most families do not pay list price, though. Those who do tend to have a combined annual income of $175k or more.


What is the Net Cost at Franklin and Marshall?


For families who qualify for financial aid, the average net price at Franklin and Marshall is $57,034. Again, this is the same no matter where a student’s state of residence is.


For students who do not qualify for financial aid, the average net cost is $67,862.


What is the Cost Based on Income of Attending Franklin and Marshall?


The amount a family pays for college is most directly affected by that family’s income. For that reason, it can be helpful to break down cost according to various income levels.


At Franklin and Marshall the cost according to income breaks down as follows:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $11,849
$30,001-$48,000 $14,147
$48,001-$75,000 $16,408
$75,001-$110,000 $28,337
$110,000+ $45,393


How Much Merit Aid is Awarded at Franklin and Marshall?


Franklin and Marshall is a fairly selective school. As such, it tends to attract a talented applicant pool and those who are accepted are an exceptional bunch. This means that merit aid is not typically awarded at Franklin and Marshall. In 2017, only 0.4% of students received merit aid and the average merit aid award for a student without financial need was just $18.

How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Franklin and Marshall?


The majority of students at Franklin and Marshall take out a loan to pay for college. In 2017, 65% of Franklin and Marshall students held a loan and the average federal loan amount per undergraduate student was $4,173.


Student Outcomes


Because college represents a significant upfront cost for most families, it can helpful to think of this expense as an investment in the future. People with a college degree have higher earning potential than those without, so student outcomes from a particular college can give you an idea of what return you may expect on your investment.


At Franklin and Marshall, 86% of students who begin a degree complete it within six years and their average salary ten years after graduation is $58,900.


Local Area Cost Considerations


Aside from the tuition and fees that you expect to pay, your family will also have expenses arise during the course of a college degree that are directly impacted by the local economy. Costs like transportation, groceries, or even housing should your student choose to live off campus can vary widely from one place to another.


Franklin and Marshall is located in Lancaster, PA. The cost of living index in Lancaster is 93, meaning it is slightly below the national average.  While transportation and health care costs there are slightly above average, housing costs are significantly lower. A studio apartment rents for about $740/month while a three bedroom goes for about $1500/month.


The job market is not particularly strong in Lancaster, PA. The unemployment rate of 5.1% is above average while projected job growth is below normal. Minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25, which is the current federal minimum. Median hourly wage in Pennsylvania is about $20.


Other Ways to Pay for College


Scholarships are a great way to help pay for a college education. The largest scholarship program in the country is the National Merit Scholarship Program. In this program, high school juniors who take the PSAT are eligible to earn awards based on their scores. Other awards are also distributed through the National Hispanic Recognition Program and other specific corporations and individual colleges. You can find more information about the program in our post How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.


There are many other scholarship options available too, if you know where to look for them. Some scholarships are open to students from across the country and attract a competitive pool of applicants nationally. Others are open only to students from a particular region, of a particular background, or with specific talents or interests. You can find out more about some of the scholarship options out there in these CollegeVine posts:


15 College Scholarships for High School Juniors

15 College Scholarship Resources for High School Students

A Guide to STEM Scholarships

Scholarships and Competitions for students in the Performing Arts


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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.