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Undergraduate Cost & Aid 101

Undergraduate Cost & Aid 101

Undergraduate Cost & Aid 101

Affording a Wheaton College Education

of new first-year students receive scholarships, grants, and/or loans

Paying for a top-tier, private, Christian liberal arts education can seem out of reach for families. Like many things of great value, how you pay for college is a personal decision. At Wheaton College, we are committed to walking alongside you and using all available resources to support you through our academic and need-based scholarships and grants. 

Wheaton's endowment subsidizes the actual cost of providing an internationally-recognized academic program. Were it not for the generosity of generations of alumni and friends of the College, tuition would be 30% higher to support our renowned faculty and academic and extra-curricular programs that enhance the unique educational journey you will experience at Wheaton. In addition, our endowment provides much-needed financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants, bringing down the average cost of attendance for many of our students. 

Total Excellence, Total Value

At Wheaton you don’t have to settle. With top rankings in U.S. News World & Report, Forbes, and Money Magazine, as well as Kiplinger’s consistently rating Wheaton as one of the best values in higher education, you can confidently choose Wheaton. And your investment will pay off. Skeptical? Let the numbers tell our story.


of recent graduates landed within six months of graduation (compared to the national average of 86%) 


of our most recent graduating class had at least one internship 


of students are expected to graduate in four years (almost double the national average)



Average Parent Adjusted Gross Income

Entering Freshmen 2018-2020

Average Parent Adjusted Gross Income


Wheaton is a crucible of people from different places, with different stories, building up one large family. — Nathan Varberg '21, Mathematics and Statistics


Cost of Attendance - The Difference Between "Sticker Price" and "Net Price"

All schools create an annual cost of attendance budget based on direct costs such as tuition, room, and board as well as indirect costs such as transportation, books, and miscellaneous personal expenses. The direct cost is commonly known as the "sticker price." This is not necessarily the amount you will actually pay, however.

Depending on a family's demonstrated financial need, the actual amount a student will pay varies by their family's financial circumstances. This is what is commonly referred to as "net price." Some families, given their finances, may not qualify for any need-based aid, while others may qualify for federal, state, and Wheaton grants, and/or federal loans. Grants are free monies made available for families with demonstrated need. 

It is important to note that the total cost (direct and indirect cost) is taken into consideration when evaluating a family's financial need.

2020-2021 Costs 
Tuition $39,100
Room $6,400
Board $4,490
Total Direct Cost ("Sticker Price"): $49,990
Indirect Costs $2,750
Total Cost: $52,740


Let's Talk About Net Price

Net price varies from student to student based on several factors. Once you have filed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and is used to determine federal, state, and Wheaton grant eligibility. Net price is then calculated by subtracting the total of all scholarships and grants from the direct cost. 

Net Price = Direct Cost - All Gift Aid (Scholarships + Grants)

All Gift Aid amount varies by student because it is determined by the individual amount of scholarships and grants and does not include loans. 

Average Total Financial Aid Package

Your total financial aid package is calculated by adding all gift aid (scholarships + grants) plus any loans you choose to take on. This amount varies from student to student as well. 

The average total financial aid amount awarded to incoming freshmen (including grants, scholarships, and loans) is $29,000. Again, this varies from family to family.

Wheaton Students Graduate with Less Debt and Have an Extremely Low Default Rate*

Average Debt After Graduation 


$29,555  Blue Bar


National Average

$32,300 Orange Bar


 *The student loan default rate is the percentage of students who borrowed to pay for school and did not pay back the loan as agreed.

Default Rate*


Small blue bar

1.0% three-year default rate


National Average

70px Orange Bar

7.0% three-year default rate


Source: College Factual - When compared to the average three-year default rate of 7.0%, the default rate at Wheaton College Illinois is excellent.


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