It used to be that a leading reason for not applying to Ivy League colleges was the cost.  But many savvy applicants and their parents these days know that cost is no longer an obstacle, due to the generous financial aid philosophy that most Ivies have.

Granted, Ivy League institutions do carry big sticker prices.  In fact, if students were to pay the full cost for a four-year degree - tuition, board, fees, etc., - the bill could total a quarter million dollars - or more.

But a fair number of students do not pay the full sticker price.  Not even close.  And many, indeed, pay zero tuition - repeat, zero.

Several years ago, with Yale and Harvard leading the way, Ivies began to offer free tuition to students whose family income did not exceed certain thresholds.  In other words, simply put, if your family did not have more than, let's say, $100,000 in income, you received a free ride.

Thresholds vary from school to school, and the policy is not limited to just the eight Ivies in the East.  Stanford, for example, has quite a generous package to offer.  (IMPORTANT - Interested applicants and their parents should be sure to check with the individual colleges for the specifics of their financial aid policies - details may vary from institution to institution.)

Getting admitted to these very selective colleges, of course, remains a challenge.  But these days cost should not deter qualified candidates from applying.
For a more complete view of the college admission process, and strategies to use when applying to the Ivies and other institutions, see Dr. Droge's book: College Admissionclick here