Find the best public and private colleges with the most generous grant packages here

The coronavirus crisis has put the affordability of universities at the center like never before.

This year, the higher education award is playing an even bigger role among students and parents due to the pandemic. At the same time, however, the cost of a four-year college or university has never been higher.

Tuition and tuition alone for the 2020-21 academic year were $ 10,560 for domestic students in four-year public colleges and $ 37,650 for students in four-year private institutions, according to the College Board, which is tracking college price trends and student aid.

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“This year, students are making changes to the way they think about their college applications because of Covid,” said Robert Franek, editor-in-chief of Princeton Review. “They are much more sensitive to costs and stay closer to home.”

To do this, the Princeton Review ranked the colleges based on how much funding they received and how satisfied the students were with their packages. After nearly 20 years, the admissions firm also changed its criteria to include more state public schools. The report is based on data from surveys of administrators at 650 colleges in 2019 and 2020, as well as of students attending schools.

“Never cross an expensive school off your list just because of the sticker price,” said Franek. “Funding is available and can make many, many schools affordable.”

At the private colleges that top Princeton Review’s 2021 list, the average scholarship price is just over $ 50,000, bringing the total out-of-pocket cost to less than $ 20,000. In public schools, out-of-pocket costs are even lower.

“These schools offer smoking options for students and their families as soon as you consider need-based scholarships,” said Franek.

Top 5 public universities for financial support

University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Virginia.

Win McNamee | Getty Images

1. University of Virginia
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Sticker price (in-state): $ 29,983
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 24,776
Total out of pocket cost: $ 5,207

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Sticker price (in-state): $ 20,515
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 18,410
Total out of pocket cost: $ 2,105

3. Florida State University
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Sticker price (in-state): $ 16,986
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 13,033
Total out of pocket cost: $ 3,953

4. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sticker price (in-state): $ 27,984
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 21,665
Total out of pocket cost: $ 6,319

5. University of New York – Hunter College
Location: Manhattan, New York
Sticker price (in-state): $ 21,098
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 8,142
Total out of pocket cost: $ 12,956

Top 5 private universities for financial support

Rockefeller Hall at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York

Educational images | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

1. Vassar College
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Sticker price: $ 68,110
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 49,190
Total out of pocket cost: $ 18,920

2. Princeton University
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Sticker price: $ 65,810
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 53,572
Total out of pocket cost: $ 12,238

3. Yale University
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Sticker price: $ 72,100
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 56,602
Total out of pocket cost: $ 15,498

4. Pomona College
Location: Pomona, California
Sticker price: $ 71,980
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 55,082
Total out of pocket cost: $ 16,898

5. Vanderbilt University
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Sticker price: $ 68,980
Average On-Demand Scholarship: $ 52,242
Total out of pocket cost: $ 16,738

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