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What Does It Really Cost to Attend Mount Holyoke College?

Massachusetts is home to some of the nation’s top colleges, so it probably comes as no surprise that educational costs in this state are also significant. In fact, a report by the New England Board of Higher Education reveals that Massachusetts has the fastest-rising public higher education costs in the nation. While private colleges like Mount Holyoke tend to come with intimidating sticker prices, that doesn’t mean that most students will pay the full amount to earn their degrees.


If your high schooler is set on attending Mount Holyoke, then you shouldn’t let the list price dissuade them from applying. Remember that college costs can vary dramatically based on the amount of aid students receive from the government, schools themselves, and private organizations. Keep reading to find out what it really costs to attend Mount Holyoke.


Why College Costs Are Highly Variable


If your family is embarking on the college journey for the first time, make sure to consider a school’s financial aid net price when making college decisions. This is a more accurate picture of what your family will be expected to pay, as the net price is list price minus government aid, institutional grants, and other scholarships.


It’s worth noting that private colleges sometimes offer more tuition assistance than public schools. Because schools like Mount Holyoke boast large endowments, they may have more wiggle room when it comes to incentivizing students to attend. In particular, families at the lower end of the income scale are unlikely to pay the full rate.


What Is the List Price at Mount Holyoke College?


Mount Holyoke’s high list price may turn some candidates away. As of the 2016-2017 school year, the price for tuition plus room and board was $61,206. Because Mount Holyoke is a private college, in-state and out-of-state students pay the same price. In most cases, applicants from families earning less than $175,000 a year and those in the top 30% of accepted students don’t pay the full list price.


What Is the Mount Holyoke College Financial Aid Net Price?


Receiving financial aid can significantly reduce the cost of attending Mount Holyoke. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the average net cost for this college was $52,958.


What Is the Family Income-Based Cost of Attending Mount Holyoke College?


What families pay to attend Mount Holyoke depends largely on their annual salaries. Below are the average net tuition prices based on family income:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $11,694*
$30,001-$48,000 $10,827
$48,001-$75,000 $17,552
$75,001-$110,000 $25,012
$110,000 $34,710


* 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 Mount Holyoke Students Receive?


One of the benefits of attending Mount Holyoke College is that a significant number of students receive merit-based aid. Ranking 499 out of 1000 in CollegeVine’s merit aid generosity study, Mount Holyoke awards merit aid to 34.5% of accepted students. The average scholarship amount is $6,179. For students who don’t qualify for need-based financial aid, the average merit aid net price is $55,027 per year.


How Many Mount Holyoke Students Take Out Loans?


If merit scholarships and need-based grants are still not quite enough, students may opt to take out loans. At Mount Holyoke College, 81% of students use loans to pay for their schooling. The average undergraduate takes out $4,135 over the course of their college career.


Student Outcomes at Mount Holyoke College


If you’re trying to determine the value of a Mount Holyoke degree, it pays to look at student outcomes. Currently, 83% of students at this school graduate within six years, so your student has a good chance of finishing on time. In terms of the return on investment, the average student was making $48,600 yearly a decade after earning their degree.


Local Area Cost Considerations


Mount Holyoke is located in South Hadley, a relatively small community in Western Massachusetts. With a cost of living index of 107.4, South Hadley is slightly more expensive than the average U.S. city. However, the high hourly wage — Massachusetts has a minimum wage of $12 — means that students can earn plenty of extra cash working part time. For students who plan to hang around South Hadley after graduation, the average salary is $51,462 a year.


Housing prices in South Hadley are slightly below the U.S. average. Students can anticipate paying $831 for a one-bedroom rental, $1061 for a two-bedroom, and $1329 for a three-bedroom apartment.


Ways to Save Money on College


Applying for independent scholarships is a great way to reduce the cost of a college degree. One popular option is the National Merit Scholarship program, which offers grants to the top 1 percent of scorers on the PSAT. Around 15,000 students a year receive scholarship money from this program. Additionally, students can find non-need based scholarship opportunities on the Mount Holyoke website.


For students that still need a way to cut college costs, part-time jobs can be the solution. Some students may qualify for work-study positions, which allow them to earn extra money while attending school. These on-campus jobs tend to allow students to study and do homework on the job, such as being a library desk aide. If you don’t qualify for work-study, consider finding a restaurant or retail job in South Hadley or nearby North Hampton.


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.