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

Although it’s no surprise to most families that funding a college education is generally an expensive endeavor, many families are surprised to learn that anticipating precisely how much they’ll pay is nearly impossible. Because there are so many factors that impact how much a family will pay for college, it’s unlikely that even the same family will pay the same amount from one year to the next.


As college costs rise, financial aid becomes a more and more important piece of the college funding puzzle for many families. As CNN reports, in 2016 the average family paid $56,840 for a four-year degree from a public institution and  $104,400 for a four-year degree from a private university. These rising costs mean that many families rely on financial aid to cover college tuition. In fact, by 2016, 85% of college students were receiving financial aid according to the National Center for Education Statistics.


Financial aid is just one of the factors that impacts how much a family pays for college. To learn more about the other factors and how much your family can expect to pay at Pitzer College, don’t miss this post.


Why Are College Costs So Variable?


College costs are highly variable simply because there are many of them and it’s unlikely that they all line up in the same way from one family to the next. One way to help simplify the process of estimating how much you’ll pay for college is by breaking down the factors that impact your out of pocket costs and looking at each individually.


The first and most significant factor that will impact how much you pay out of pocket for college is the college’s list price. A list price is also sometimes referred to as a sticker price, and these vary significantly from one college to the next. Generally, a list price includes tuition, room and board, and necessary fees like registration or library cards. Usually, these prices can be thought of as all-inclusive. Sometimes, though, at schools with a high percentage of commuter students, certain costs like room and board will not be included. Always ascertain exactly what is included when you compare the sticker prices of different colleges.


Net price is usually a more helpful data point when it comes to comparing college costs. Net price is how much a family pays out of pocket after aid and other resources are applied. The average net price at a college is dependent on three factors— federal, state, and local government aid, institutional financial aid, and merit scholarships. Because these three factors vary significantly from one student to the next, net cost is difficult to predict, but by looking at average net cost you can get a better idea of how much families typically pay out of pocket.


What is the List Price at Pitzer College?


In the 2016-2017 school year, the list price at Pitzer College was $68,192. Pitzer is a private college, so the list price is the same for both in-state and out-of-state residents. Not very many students pay the list price, though. Those who can expect to pay list price are generally students from families with combined annual incomes of $175k or more.


What Is the Average Net Cost of Attending Pitzer College?


It’s usually more helpful to look at how much the average family spends out of pocket, rather than the list price, when comparing college costs. This varies largely based on how much aid a family receives.


The average net cost for students who receiving financial aid to attend Pitzer College is $57,469. The average net cost for students not receiving financial aid to attend Pitzer College is $67,975.


What is the Income Based Cost of Attending Pitzer College?


Net cost varies mostly due to financial aid, and financial aid is awarded based on a family’s income. Therefore, breaking down net cost according to a family’s income is one way to further refine cost estimates.


The breakdown of net cost by family income to attend Pitzer College is as follows:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $11,533
$30,001-$48,000 $11,849
$48,001-$75,000 $14,904
$75,001-$110,000 $22,781
$110,000+ $41,949


How Much Merit Aid is Typically Awarded at Pitzer College?


Because Pitzer is a private college with a selective applicant pool, merit aid there is a rarity. Only 2.5% of students at Pitzer College receive merit aid and the average merit aid award for a student without financial need is just $217. This places Pitzer at 880th in the pool over 1000 schools we analyzed for merit aid generosity.


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How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Pitzer College?


Taking out loans is not ubiquitous among Pitzer College attendees, but it isn’t entirely unusual either. 24% of students at Pitzer take out a loan to help fund their college education. The average federal loan per undergraduate student is $2,987.


Student Outcomes at Pitzer College


Because college is a significant cost for most families, it’s natural to wonder what you can expect to gain from your expenses. First of all, keep in mind that a college degree increases earning potential significantly over the course of a lifetime. One way to think about college costs is as an investment in the future. When you frame your thinking in this way, student outcomes become a predictor of your likely return on investment over time.


At Pitzer College, 87% of students graduate within 6 years of beginning college, and their average salary 10 years out of college is $48,700.


Local Area Cost Considerations


College tuition and fees are the most significant costs associated with college, but other costs will also arise over those four years. Local area cost considerations will impact out of pocket spending in areas like groceries, transportation, and even housing should your student choose to live off campus at some point.


Pitzer College is located in Claremont, CA, which is about 40 minutes inland from LA. Living in southern California is not cheap. The cost of living index in Claremont is 196.4. This means means that it is about 96.4% more expensive to live in Claremont than the national average.


The high cost of living in Claremont is due mostly to expensive transportation and housing. Public transportation is not well-established and remains costly here. Rent is also a significant expense, with a studio apartment going for about $1300 per month and a three bedroom rental for about $2700.


This being said, the job market in Claremont is strong. Minimum wage in California is currently $12/hr, and it will be raised to $15/hr in the next few years. The average hourly wage in California is over $20.


Other Ways to Pay for College


Although financial aid and loans are the most common sources for funding a college education, they are not the only ways to reduce immediate out-of-pocket expenses. Private scholarships are another avenue to explore, and for some families these can provide significant funding.


The most well-known scholarship program in the country is the National Merit Scholarship Program. Through this program, every high school junior who takes the PSAT and chooses to participate can be eligible for scholarships based on his or her test scores. In addition, other students will qualify for scholarships through the National Hispanic Recognition Program or specific programs sponsored by corporations or individual colleges. To learn more about the program, check out our post How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.


Countless other scholarships exist too, varying from large national awards to smaller, more localized or specialized programs. You can learn about some of the programs that may be an option for you by reading these posts:



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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.