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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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What Does it Cost to Attend Oberlin College?

Renowned for its conservatory of music, Oberlin College is a stellar institution even if your student is not a musician. Located in Ohio, Oberlin College welcomes around 700 bright and forward-thinking minds every fall.


A degree from Oberlin, although high in prestige, is not low in its price tag as a private institution. However, if your student is considering Oberlin, don’t let that put them off. We’ve created this comprehensive post that covers exactly how your family can better navigate the tuition prices, and get more aid in financing an education at Oberlin.


Why College Costs of Attendance are Highly Variable


Estimating college costs is important, and you’ve probably already done some research in this area. You’ve probably seen many different numbers from various sources regarding college costs, and one of your sources was probably Oberlin’s own page on tuition.


This is a good place to start. However, the numbers listed there are just that: a good place to start. It’s what we call the list price, and most families don’t end up paying full price. Everything starts from there, but how much less you will actually pay is based on many different factors from family income to on-campus employment. College costs are so variable, so you should look instead for the net cost, which refers to the amount families actually pay out of their pockets.


Oberlin College’s List Price


Tuition generally rises each year. That being said, Oberlin College’s list price for the 2016-2017 academic year was $68,670 for both in-state and out-of-state students. This number includes tuition, room and board, and other miscellaneous costs such as a student activities fee.


Remember that most families don’t pay this price. Those who do usually have a total household income of over $175,000. Students from these families may also receive merit-based aid, which would reduce their net cost. Not all colleges offer merit aid, but Oberlin does. We’ll talk about merit aid later in this post.

Cost of Attendance with Financial Aid at Oberlin


At Oberlin, more than two-thirds of students receive need-based financial aid. Need-based financial aid comes in three parts: grants, student loans, and income through student employment, called work-study. At Oberlin, the average net-cost for both in-state and out-of-state students was $59,138 after receiving financial aid.


Cost Based on Family Income at Oberlin


The amount of need-based financial aid a student receives will vary depending on the student’s family annual income. The greater your family’s financial need, the more need-based aid a student will qualify for. Here are the average net costs for Oberlin students after receiving financial aid based on family income:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $14,146
$30,001-$48,000 $14,731
$48,001-$75,000 $24,134
$75,001-$110,000 $24,241
Over $110,000 $42,076

Merit Aid Net Price at Oberlin


Apart from need-based aid, Oberlin College also offers merit-based aid. Merit aid is granted based on what the institution deems to be exceptional performance and potential, usually academic performance, and school or community involvement. It often comes in the form of a scholarship.


At Oberlin, 78.5% of students without financial need receive merit aid. In 2016, the average amount awarded to a student without need was $10,311. The average net price for a student without demonstrated financial aid was $58,359.


Oberlin is generous in offering merit aid; out of a pool of 1000 schools we analyzed for merit aid generosity, Oberlin ranks 351. Its scholarships include the John F. Oberlin Scholarships for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Conservatory Dean’s awards for those entering the conservatory.

Student Loans and Debts at Oberlin


Sometimes families still need help after receiving merit aid, grants, and work-study income. This is where student loans come in. Unlike scholarships or grants, loans need to be repaid, often with interest. At Oberlin College, 81% of students take out loans, with an average amount of $3,428 per student.


Student Outcomes at Oberlin


Investing in college is a big decision. You might wonder whether Smith College is “worth” the financial investment, especially if you have loans to pay back. We have some statistics to help you get a sense of how students are doing down the line from graduation: Oberlin’s 6-year graduation rate is 84%, and the average salary 10 years post-graduation is $40,800.


Local Area Cost Considerations


Local area costs are important to consider when estimating college costs, since students inevitably will have expenses outside of tuition and room and board, and especially if your student wants to live off-campus or cook for themselves.


Oberlin, Ohio has an overall cost of living index of 88, which means that it’s 12% less expensive to live in Oberlin than in the rest of the U.S. in general.  


Almost all students at Oberlin live on-campus. Students seeking off-campus housing need to meet eligibility requirements and then enter a lottery. On-campus residential life is vibrant at Oberlin, though, and students can choose from traditional halls, program housing, themed houses, co-ops, and village housing.


The Oberlin campus offers various opportunities for student employment, but for those wishing to seek off-campus employment, it’s useful to know that Ohio’s minimum wage is $8.55.


Other Ways to Save on College  


If you’re still looking for other ways to help finance a college education at Oberlin, fret not! There are many merit-based private scholarships available, especially if your student is enrolling in an institution in their home state.


In addition, your student may qualify for prestigious scholarships just by taking a test. Those who take the PSAT are automatically entered for qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program, which awards $2,500 to finalists. You can learn more through our post about how to qualify.


If you want to learn more about scholarships in general, check out our following posts:


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
Kimberly graduated from Smith College with a degree in English Literature. This year, she has been based in Beijing, China, where she works in the education field and rescues dogs in her free time. She will be starting her masters at Columbia University in the fall.