Monday, November 12, 2012

Sticker Prices Don’t Mean Much: Chattanooga, Tennessee

This is Post #3 in the College Abacus series Sticker Prices Don’t Mean Much. Post #1 featured a high school senior from a median income ($30,000-39,999 post-tax) household in Pittsburgh. Post #2 featured "Shelby," a high school junior in Boston from a middle income family. 

Today, College Abacus takes up the case of Amy*, a single mother of two children in her late thirties. Amy lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and has never attended college. Worried about the economy and her long-term job security, she is now considering going back to school.

Amy’s parents have offered to help with childcare, so she is hoping that she can attend school full-time and earn her degree quickly. She currently earns less than $30,000 per year after taxes. Amy wants to continue working part-time and maximize time with her children, so she is only looking at schools in Chattanooga. To help Amy, we compared her likely cost-of-attendance at three schools: University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, University of Phoenix-Chattanooga, and Chattanooga State Community College.

With College Abacus, Amy learned that University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is likely to offer her a full scholarship.

Amy thought that community college would be the least expensive choice, but was happy to learn that she might avoid loans and fees entirely with a full scholarship at the University of Tennessee. You can scroll down to see Amy's results– or start looking for schools with good financial aid packages here.

You don't need a crystal ball to find out your financial aid - just an abacus.

*Amy is not a real person, though her personal circumstances do mirror those faced by real people.