What Does it Cost to Attend Sarah Lawrence College?

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As you and your student building a college applications school list, you’ll consider many factors: location, size, available degree programs, sports, or career support. At the outside, students and families might not focus on finances. But analyzing costs early in the process will help your student make informed decisions while planning your application strategy.

 

The exact cost of a Sarah Lawrence education may be difficult to predict, but by breaking down the factors that determine the cost of attendance, we’ll equip you with the necessary information to compare your options. In this series, we go through what goes into a college cost, including family finances, in-state and out-of-state tuition, and more. Continue reading to learn what a Sarah Lawrence education could cost for your student.

Why Are College Costs So Variable?

Your family’s finances will be one of the biggest determining factors in predicting your college costs, which is why the cost of education can be hard to predict. It will vary from student to student and school to school. The price listed on a school’s website or in their brochure is the list price, or the sticker price. Your family would pay this amount if you received no financial assistance whatsoever. This number typically includes things like tuition, room and board, and activity fees, but be sure to double-check what’s included as you compare list prices across different schools.

 

Because most families do not pay list price, it’s more informative to compare schools’ net costs. Net cost is the amount families typically pay out of pocket (including loans) for an education.

 

Comparing net costs instead of list prices takes into account three main factors: federal, state, and local government aid; institutional financial aid; and merit scholarships. By considering these factors, you’ll gain a better understanding of the financial pros and cons of each school on your student’s list.

What is the List Price at Sarah Lawrence College?

Sarah Lawrence College is a private institution, so the cost for residents and non-residents is the same. For the 2016-2017 school year, it was $68,390.

 

Most families do not pay this amount. In fact, you should only expect to pay this amount if (1) your family earns more than $175,000 and (2) your student is not in the top 30% of accepted students.

What is the Net Cost of Attending Sarah Lawrence College?

Your student’s net cost will be the list price minus any government aid, institutional aid, and merit aid. Merit aid can be unpredictable because it depends on the other accepted students (who will be your student’s “competition” for merit aid), so for average net costs we will only include government and institutional aid.

 

With financial aid only, the average net cost was $60,544.

What is the Income-Based Cost of Attending Sarah Lawrence College?

The income your family reports on the FAFSA and CSS Profile will be one of the largest determining factors in your net cost. The average net costs for Sarah Lawrence are broken down by income below:

Family Income Average Net Cost
$0-$30,000 $18,934
$30,001-$48,000 $20,563
$48,001-$75,000 $24,363
$75,001-$110,000 $30,197
$110,000+ $39,113

How Much Merit Aid is Typical at Sarah Lawrence College?

Merit aid is the third type of aid students can expect at Sarah Lawrence College. Award amounts vary between applicants and the overall class makeup, so we’ll look at the overall generosity of Sarah Lawrence as a metric.

 

Sarah Lawrence ranked 460th in a pool of over 1,000 schools that CollegeVine analyzed for merit aid generosity. About 48.4% of students without need received merit aid, with an average award amount of $7,244. The Sarah Lawrence website lists available scholarships and institutional resources.

 

The average net price for a student who doesn’t quality for financial aid (and therefore only receives merit aid) for 2016-2017 was $61,146.

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How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Sarah Lawrence College?

About 34% of Sarah Lawrence students take out federal loans, which are generally preferable to private loans because they come with more favorable interest rates and repayment plans. The average federal loan amount per undergrad student at Sarah Lawrence is $3,641.

Student Outcomes

Education is, ultimately, an investment; that means that when considering the cost of education you and your student should also consider what your student will get out of their education. 80% of Sarah Lawrence students graduate within six years of enrollment. Ten years after graduation, the average alumni salary is $43,000.

Local Area Cost Considerations

Beyond the net cost, there are other financial factors you should take into account when choosing a school. Incidental costs, like groceries, travel, school supplies, or off-campus rent (if your student lives off campus), will exist no matter where your student attends school. These vary with the cost of living in the college’s town.

 

Sarah Lawrence is located in Yonkers, NY, which is in the same metro area as New York City. Its proximity to New York makes it a great location for internship opportunities, artistic and cultural events, and entertainment.

 

However, this prime location also drives up the cost of living; the cost of living index for Yonkers is 162.9, meaning that costs in the city are over 1.5 times the nation’s average cost of living. You can expect this to be reflected in relatively high grocery, housing, utilities, and transportation costs.

 

More than 85% of Sarah Lawrence students live on campus, but if your student chooses to move off campus, they can expect to pay $1,202 for a studio, $1,412 for a one-bedroom, $1,713 for a two bedroom, or $2,205 for a three-bedroom apartment.

 

Of course, students can work during college to offset the costs of living and education. Yonkers is in Westchester County, which has a county minimum wage of $12 an hour; starting wages will increase by $1 per year until they reaches $15. If your student works in New York City, they’ll be guaranteed at least $15 an hour, which is the minimum wage there. This is higher than the federal minimum wage and will help offset the higher cost of living.

Other Ways to Help Fund a College Education

Besides government aid, institutional aid, and merit aid scholarships, there are other ways to help fund your student’s education. One of the most common is to apply for outside scholarships. Like government aid, these can come at the federal, state, or local level, so your student should be sure to apply for a variety of scholarships. By taking the PSATs your junior or equivalent year, students will be automatically considered for the National Merit Scholarship program at participating schools. Sarah Lawrence also offers resources for finding outside scholarships.

 

College applications don’t have to be stressful. With CollegeVine’s  College Application Program, our application specialists will help your family navigate the admissions process, setting your student will be set up for success. Your specialist will work one-on-one with your student through each step of the process; from building a school list to understanding affordability, your family will benefit from our data-driven strategies and exclusive tools like our Chancing Engine and return-on-investment college cost calculator.

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Anna Ravenelle
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Anna Ravenelle is a graduate of Cornell University, where she studied English with a concentration in Creative Writing. After spending two application cycles in the CollegeVine applications division, she now uses her admissions experience to help a greater number of students. She resides in New York but her heart has never left New Hampshire, where she grew up.