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What Does It Cost to Attend Washington University in St. Louis?

These days, earning a college degree can seem prohibitively expensive. With public institutions charging an average annual cost of $26,120, families can expect to spend a shocking $104,480 for a bachelor’s degree. The list price is even higher at private schools like Washington University in St. Louis.


A private research institution located in Missouri, WashU is known for its outstanding work in biomedicine. However, the sticker price at this Midwestern institution may be high enough to have potential applicants looking elsewhere. It’s important to remember that most college students aren’t paying the tuition rates listed in the school brochures. Keep reading to learn why college costs can vary so drastically and what it really costs to attend Washington University in St. Louis.

Why College Costs Are Highly Variable


It’s not uncommon to get sticker shock on the college admissions journey. However, prospective students and their families should note that list prices often differ dramatically from college net prices. In particular, students from families at the lower income levels are unlikely to pay the sticker price. Boasting large endowments, private institutions can afford to offer more money in scholarships to students with strong applicant profiles.


Rather than rule out schools based on sticker price alone, students and their families should do their homework to determine the net price for the colleges on their list. You can find the financial aid net price by adding up the value of all forms of aid, including scholarships and government aid, and subtracting that from the list price.


What Is the List Price at WashU?


Washington University in St. Louis has a high list price. As of the 2016-2017 school year, students could expect to spend $69,754 per year on tuition. However, families earning less than $175,000 a year are unlikely to pay this rate. Additionally, the top 30% of accepted students generally receive scholarships to help lower this cost.


What Is the WashU Financial Aid Net Price?


The financial aid net price at WashU is significantly less than the list price. As of the 2016-2017 academic year, the average net price to attend WashU was $59,113. The rate is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students.


What Is the Family Income-Based Cost of Attending Washington University in St. Louis?


Your family’s income level will have a significant effect on the amount of grant money you receive from a college or university. For Washington University in St. Louis, average net tuition prices per family income are as follows:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $10,518*
$30,001-$48,000 $9,025
$48,001-$75,000 $13,208
$75,001-$110,000 $28,458
$110,000 $44,102


* 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.


How Much Merit Aid Do WashU Students Receive?


If you’re looking to cut the cost of college tuition, Washington University in St. Louis might be a strong choice, as the school offers a significant amount of money in merit aid. Currently, 18.4% of students without need receive merit-based aid, with an average award amount of $2,365. That gives WashU the No. 655 spot on the list of 1000 schools CollegeVine analyzed for merit aid generosity. On average, students who didn’t quality for need-based aid paid $67,389 to attend WashU.


How Many WashU Students Take Out Loans?


Many students also take out loans to help them attend college. At Washington University in St. Louis, the average federal loan amount per undergraduate is $1,652 total across all four years, with a quarter of students receiving this form of aid.


Student Outcomes at WashU


If you student is considering WashU, it’s important to do research to ensure you’ll get the best return on your investment. The average six-year graduation rate at WashU is 93%, meaning students have a strong chance of finishing on time. The average salary for alumni 10 years after graduation is $70,100.


Local Area Cost Considerations


Students planning to live away from home for college should consider all the costs associated with attending college. With a cost of living index of 88.7, St. Louis is more affordable than the average American city. However, it’s still important to budget for housing. On average, students can expect to spend $714 for a one-bedroom rental off campus, $924 for a two-bedroom, and $1,216 for a three-bedroom.


Additionally, prospective college students should assess how much money they can earn working part-time while earning their degrees. The state minimum wage is $8.60 per hour and the average salary in St. Louis is $52,502.


Ways to Save Money on College


Students who don’t want to seek employment off-campus may be able to earn extra cash with a work-study position. In some cases, students can find work-study roles related to their chosen major. Other jobs might allow plenty of time for studying and doing homework, such as being a library desk aide.


Additionally, students can subsidize the cost of a degree with independent scholarships. One of the best-known options, the National Merit Scholarship program provides grant money to the top 1 percent of PSAT test-takers. Around 16,000 students a year are named semifinalists and are invited to apply for finalist status.


You can check out the scholarships page at Washington University in St. Louis to learn more about options for financing your degree.


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
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.