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What Does it Cost to Attend Trinity College?

It’s undeniable that the cost of college is a major consideration for prospective students. According to one survey, about one-fifth of students in 2016 turned down the opportunity to attend their first-choice school because of the high price. The survey states that 18.6% of students invoked the cost of attendance as the reason for turning down their top choice, more than double the second-most cited reason, campus environment. With the expense of a college education being such a major factor, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right numbers when comparing schools.


Reviewing the published price of universities is the most straightforward way to examine how much your family might be expected to pay. However, the cost of college is highly variable and very few students actually pay full price. The majority of students who pay list price typically come from high-earning families with incomes above $175,000. Students who are not within the top 30% of accepted students at the college might also be more likely to pay full price, if they don’t qualify for financial aid.  


The preferred method for comparing the college expenses is by using net cost. Net cost is the list price of college, minus any financial aid or scholarships a student receives. Because net price accounts for any government aid, institutional aid, and merit scholarships, it provides a much more accurate idea of what a school like Trinity College truly costs.


What is the List Price at Trinity College?


The list price for tuition and room and board for both in- and out-of-state Trinity College students is $68,940—making it one of the most expensive colleges in the country. The financial information website MarketWatch—which is operated by the same company that owns the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s—ranked Trinity College as the nation’s fifth most expensive college.


What is the Financial Aid Net Price of Trinity College?


As previously mentioned, most students do not pay the published price for college and this fact remains true at Trinity. The average net cost with financial aid only is $58,317, which is over $10,000 less than the college’s listed price. In contrast, students who don’t qualify for financial aid pay an average net price of $68,566, roughly the published price of Trinity College.


One of the primary factors colleges use for determining the amount of financial aid awarded is the student’s family income. Because of this, the price of Trinity varies widely depending on the each student’s financial situation. Below is the average cost of Trinity College based on family income:


Family Income Average Net Price
Below $30,000 $14,221*
$30,001-$48,000 $10,803
$48,001-$75,000 $14,032
$75,001-$110,000 $23,584
$110,000+ $43,062


* These numbers do not reflect any Pell Grants that families may receive. Families with an income of $0-30k often receive Federal Pell Grants, which reduce the amount of financial aid that individual institutions need to award. This is why there is a higher tuition rate for families with $0-30k vs. those with $30k-48k.


What is Merit Aid Net Price of Trinity College?


Merit aid traditionally comes in the form of scholarships awarded for academic accomplishments, athletic achievements, and community leadership. Merit aid net price is the published price of the college minus any awarded merit scholarships. Less than 1% of students receive merit aid at Trinity College (just 0.7%) and the average amount awarded is $374. Out of a pool of over 1,000 schools analyzed by CollegeVine for merit aid generosity, Trinity placed 855th.


How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Trinity College?


A large percentage of students incorporate student loans into their financial strategy for college, and students at Trinity are no exception. 87% of Trinity College students have student loans with the average federal student loans per undergraduate student being $2,351 total across all four years.


Student Outcomes at Trinity College


84% of students at Trinity College graduate, far exceeding the national average of 58% according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. 10 years after graduation, Trinity students can expect to earn an average salary of $66,100.

Local Area Cost of Living Considerations


Cost of living index is a general figure that accounts for the price of housing, groceries, transportation, utilities, etc. It’s used to measure the expense of living in a particular area relative to the national average. The cost of living index of Hartford is 102.2, slightly above the national average of 100 and less than the state average of 118.4.


Average Apartment Rental


As a residential college, over 90% of students enrolled at Trinity live in college-owned housing. First-year students are required to live on campus and only a small number of students are granted permission to live off campus.


For the small majority of students who will reside off campus, the average one-bedroom apartment in Hartford rents for $960, while two-bedroom apartments demand $1,194 and three-bedrooms fetch $1,496. Apartment prices can vary within a city such as Hartford, and it’s likely that prices will be higher for apartments near campus in the city’s sought-after south end.  




The minimum wage in Connecticut is $10.10, putting it ahead of the federally-mandated minimum wage of $7.25. According to Indeed, the hourly wage of retail associates is $13.22 an hour, which is 17% greater than the national average. Students who find employment as a front desk agent can anticipate earning $11.87 an hour, 6% better than the national average.


Other Ways to Help Fund a College Education


There are numerous ways that students can help offset the high cost of college, one of which is participating in the federal work-study program. Students qualifying for the federal work-study program are expected to apply to a job either on-campus or at a local community service organization. Students should anticipate working between 8-10 hours a week. The college maintains an online job list of available work-study positions to ease a student’s search.


Many students also pursue scholarships as a way to cover some, or all, of the cost of college. One of the renowned scholarships available to Trinity College students is the Lincoln Award. Available to residents of Illinois, the merit-based Lincoln Award covers tuition, housing, meals, and book expenses, and has been removing any economic barriers that may prevent highly-qualified students from attending Trinity for over 60 years.  


Students attending Trinity with an interest in environmental science will be interested to learn about the Udall Scholarship. This highly prestigious award comes with a substantial financial package and has been granted to numerous Trinity students in the past. Students must be nominated by Trinity faculty to be eligible for the Udall Scholarship.


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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.