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Choosing the right college may be one of the most important decisions a student will make. Along with the academic, social and cultural life of a college, students and families must consider the affordability when evaluating their college options.

While the cost of attendance may play a large role in the final decision, students and families should note that the value of a college education does not lie just in its cost. Professors who focus on teaching undergraduates, a low student-to-faculty ratio, small classes, a more personalized education and opportunities to hone leadership skills add value to the cost of attendance.

Students and their families should also keep in mind their out-of-pocked expenses when comparing colleges' costs of attendance. Consider the following:

  • Choose the most affordable college: It's important to look beyond the "sticker price" to see what types of financial support are offered. Government loans are standardized, but private institutions have more freedom in offering aid than pubic institutions.
  • Use all sources of financial aid: The four most common types of aid are need-based grants and loans from federal and state governments, merit-based scholarships from colleges and private sources and student employment.
  • Work with the financial aid office to create a package that works for your family: Hood's financial aid office can help families with creative financing options.
  • Apply for additional outside scholarships from civic organizations, religious denominations, businesses and various community foundations. For a list of additional scholarships, click here  
  • Consolidate loans after college: Students can consolidate their loans into one loan with a fixed interest rate that can be paid back over 10 years.
  • Graduate in four years: Hood's four-year graduation rate exceeds the national average, which means our students pay only four years of tuition and are entering the work force or graduate school four years after graduating high school.

Hood has created an online estimator to assist in calculating your financial aid eligibility. Hood's financial aid packages may include scholarships, grants and loans from a variety of sources such as federal and state governments and institutional aid. To assist you with the estimator, please have the following items available:

  • Student and parents' most recent federal income tax returns
  • Earnings statements (most recent W2 forms)
  • Student merit information (high school GPA and standardized test scores)