Colleges are More Willing to Negotiate Costs

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Their thinking is that they would rather negotiate than lose a student. Even if you get financing help, you still can negotiate remaining out-of-pocket costs based on comparing expenses at other schools that have accepted the student. Be forthright — say where else he/she has been accepted and explain the cost differences. Reducing out-of-pocket costs by 10% to 20% will save you thousands of dollars over four years.

Jerry Slavonia, founder and CEO, Campus Explorer, Santa Monica, California, whose 7,400-school database is designed to help students find their best college matches.

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