What Does it Cost to Attend Whitman College?

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For many families, the expense of a college education is a significant investment. As college costs rise, so too do the number of families applying for aid to help them shoulder the burden. With the average family paying over $100,000 for a four-year degree from a private university, it’s no surprise that according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of college students receiving financial aid reached 85% in 2016 and continues to move upward.

 

One factor that makes planning for the cost of a college education even more difficult is that it’s hard to predict just how much your family will pay. Even with information about how much tuition is at various schools, a family can’t always anticipate just how widely out-of-pocket costs can vary. That’s why, in this series of posts, we at CollegeVine analyze the costs of attending over 1000 schools to help families more accurately predict just what they’ll spend. In this post, we look at the costs of attending Whitman College. 

 

Why Are College Costs So Variable?

 

There are so many factors that influence college costs that they vary widely from family to family, school to school, and student to student. It’s rare for all factors to line up in exactly the same way, and consequently it’s also rare for any two families to pay exactly the same amount. While the costs vary widely, understanding the driving forces behind them can help you to narrow down the range that your family might expect to pay at a given school.

 

One of the most significant factors behind college cost is a college’s list price. The list price, or sticker price, at a college is essentially the full cost of attending. It usually includes tuition, room and board, and necessary fees. At schools with a high percentage of commuter students, certain fees may be excluded, like room and board, so you should always confirm exactly what is included when you compare the sticker prices at different schools.

 

While list price is a good starting point, few students actually pay the entire list price, so understanding the net cost of attending a school can be more helpful for your family. Net cost is the amount that a family ultimately pays out of pocket and it is impacted by how much assistance a family receives. This assistance comes in the form of federal, state, and local aid, institutional aid, and merit scholarships. The average net cost at a college is the average amount that families pay out of pocket to attend, and it can be a more useful data point for those who plan to apply for financial aid.

 

What is the List Price at Whitman College?

 

In 2016-2017 the list price at Whitman College was $61,972. Whitman College is a private college, so it does not offer reduced rates for in-state students. The list price remains the same regardless of state of residence. Most students do not pay the entire list price, though. Those who do tend to have a combined family annual income of $175k or more.

 

What is the Net Cost of Attending Whitman College?

 

For students at Whitman College who qualify for financial aid, the average net cost is $53,915. This remains the same regardless of where a student lives, because, as a private college, Whitman College does not offer reduced rates for in-state students.

 

For students who do not qualify for financial aid, the average net cost of attending Whitman College is $56,167. This is due to the generous amount of merit aid that Whitman typically distributes.

 

What is the Net Cost Based on Income of Attending Whitman College?

 

How much financial aid a family receives varies based on how much that family makes. For this reason, it’s useful to breakdown net costs according to family income levels.

 

At Whitman College, the average net cost by family income is distributed as follows:

 

Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $15,238
$30,001-$48,000 $17,942
$48,001-$75,000 $21,821
$75,001-$110,000 $28,061
$110,000+ $43,539

How Much Merit Aid is Awarded at Whitman College?

Merit aid is not uncommon at Whitman College. In fact, prospective students may be pleased to hear that in 2016-2017, 50.2% of students at Whitman received merit aid awards. That same year, the average merit aid award for a student without need was $5,805. Whitman College ranked 510th in the pool over 1000 schools we analyzed for merit aid generosity.

 

How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Whitman College?

 

Loans are not an uncommon piece of a family’s college funding puzzle, and Whitman College is no exception here. In 2017, 39% of students attending Whitman had some kind of student loan. The average federal student loan per undergrad student was $3,743.

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Student Outcomes

 

Many families are intimidated by the high price tag of college, but everyone should keep in mind that in the long run, adults with a college degree have significantly higher earning potential than those without. Thinking of the expense of a college education as an investment in the future can lend helpful perspective, and taking a look at student outcomes can help to frame how much return you can expect on your investment.

 

At Whitman College, 87% of students who begin a degree finish it within six years, and those who do complete a degree have an average salary after ten years of $51,300.

 

Local Area Cost Considerations

 

Of course, the tuition and fees that you pay for college are only part of the expenses you’ll need to consider when planning for a college degree. Your student is bound to pay for other things like groceries, transportation, or even housing should they elect to live off campus. These costs can add up over the course of four years, so it’s worthwhile to know more about the cost of living in a college town.

 

Whitman College is located in Walla Walla, WA. Walla Walla is in the southeastern part of Washington state, close to the Oregon border and well inland from both Portland and Seattle. The cost of living index in Walla Walla is 96.9, meaning is just a bit below the national average. Utilities and transportation costs tend to be fairly affordable there, but housing and groceries are slightly above average. Even so, rent remains pretty reasonable with an average of around $1000/month, up 8% from last year.

 

The job market in Walla Walla is not great. Unemployment rates hover around 5%, which is slightly above the national average, and job growth projections are below normal. Still, minimum wage in Washington state is a healthy $12/hr and will go up to $13.50/hr in 2020. The median hourly wage in Washington is above $22/hr. Consequently, picking up a part-time job could potentially help offset some of your student’s other incidental expenses.

 

Other Ways to Pay for College

 

Scholarships are another great way to help fund a college education, and there are many options out there for students and families who are willing to look.

 

The National Merit Scholarship Program is among the most popular scholarship programs in the country, largely due to the ease of entry. Every high school junior who takes the PSAT can opt into this program and students can qualify for awards based on their PSAT scores. This program also recognizes students through the National Hispanic Recognition Program and other special awards sponsored by corporations or individual colleges. To learn more, don’t miss our post How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

 

Many other scholarship programs exist too, for students who look a little further. Some scholarship programs cast a national net for highly talented students from across the country, while others look locally or within specific niches. If your family wants to learn more about some scholarships that may be of interest, don’t miss these posts:

 

 

There’s no question that planning for college costs can be a daunting and even confusing process, but there’s no reason to let this add to an already stressful time. For more help planning for college costs, applying for financial aid, or securing scholarships, consider the benefits of the CollegeVine Applications Guidance service. Here, you will be paired with a personal admissions specialist from a top college who can provide step-by-step guidance through the entire application process, including the funding options available to your family.

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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
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.