grove city college financial aid

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

Grove City College’s tuition cost at just $19,310 is significantly lower than the national average, yet we still work to reduce it. Sixty-six percent of our students receive institutional gift aid up to the full cost of tuition and room and board. Moreover, we are transparent in our pricing model and are committed to helping students fund their dreams. Be sure to apply for need-based aid between October 1 and April 15. We are here to assist you!

Attending any college is a major financial commitment. Grove City College offers a financial aid program that makes it possible for students to attend the College regardless of financial means, and the Office of Financial Aid welcomes the opportunity to provide in depth information about the College’s financial aid program. Our Office of Financial Aid is committed to making a Grove City College education one of the most worthwhile investments you will ever make.

The truthful alternative. 

We know the cost and long-term value of a college education can be concerning, and we are committed to dealing truthfully in our pricing and scholarship offerings (Proverbs 11:1). Specifically, we avoid the problematic practice of “unfunded tuition discounting.”

Deceptive discounting. 

Unfunded tuition discounting is the manipulation of the price of tuition that results in students unwittingly funding their classmates’ scholarships. This practice is used widely throughout higher education to entice students and their parents. It often diverts a student’s focus from holistic and lifelong flourishing.

How does it work?

Most colleges have excessive price tags by design—the foundation of the discounting framework. Like stores putting on a sale, colleges simply inflate the cost of tuition beyond the actual nonprofit, break-even cost. Then colleges lower the price of tuition by offering a scholarship, similar to a sale coupon.

Why do colleges do this?

They do this for two reasons: First, so that they can use parents and students as their source of scholarship funding. Second, so that they can offer a scholarship to nearly every student. This creates a false perception of reward and often benefits the school over the student.

Buyer beware. 

Every discounting college has an average discount. Students who receive a discount lower than the average are actually helping to pay for the larger-than-average discounts offered to other students. Colleges fund the bulk of scholarship aid by transferring money from one family to another. 

Committed to true value. 

Grove City College sets its tuition at what it actually costs to educate a student. Our initial price is low, and from there we offer need-based and merit-based aid from our own endowment and donor gifts. We never transfer money surreptitiously from one student to another, and no student pays for another. 

In an age of overpriced education and deceptive discounts, the true value of a Grove City College education is demonstrated by our impressively high retention, graduation, and career outcome rates. In addition, our alumni earnings rank in the top 13% nationally, and graduates leave here with the immeasurable treasures of uplifting friendships, the ability to think critically and communicate well, a solidified worldview, and a big-picture understanding of their unique calling in life.

We urge you to look beyond the discounts to discover the real value of an honestly priced education, and we invite you to apply for financial aid and scholarships.

At Grove City College students must demonstrate financial need and academic achievement to qualify for need-based financial aid. Returning students must have earned a minimum cumulative QPA (CQPA) of at least 2.00 in order to qualify for need-based financial aid. Grove City College uses the information collected on the Grove City College Financial Aid Application for its calculations. International students and transfer students should complete the International or Transfer Financial Aid Application respectively.

How is need determined?

A family or student financial need is based on a simple formula:

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

In order to calculate financial need, the expected family contribution is subtracted from the cost of attendance. Financial need is interpreted as eligibility for financial aid. From this equation you can see that the higher the cost of college, the greater the amount of financial need.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance consists of tuition, fees, room, board, books, travel, and other associated educational costs.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is a calculated assessment of how much a family is expected to contribute to their child’s college costs.

How is EFC calculated?

The EFC is calculated by considering the family’s financial strength (their income and assets). Many variables are considered to determine a family’s financial strength such as: family size, number of family members in college, age of eldest parent, savings, investments, income, and assets.

There are two main formulas used to determine EFC:

  • Federal methodology (FM): Used by the federal government to calculate eligibility for federal aid
  • Institutional Methodology (IM): Used by colleges to calculate eligibility for institutional aid programs     

Grove City College uses IM. Developed and maintained by the College Board to assist colleges, universities, and private scholarship programs in determining eligibility for institutional and private financial aid funds, IM is a need analysis formula. Use the College Board’s EFC Calculator to estimate EFC using the IM formula. 

Applying for Need-Based Financial Aid

All students who wish to be considered for need-based financial aid need to apply by completing the Grove City College Financial Aid Application. As Need-Based Aid is not automatically renewed, applications must be submitted each year. Select and complete the appropriate Financial Aid Application.

Incoming students and families should apply by the deadlines even if they are wait-listed, and all applicants should keep copies of all documents and correspondence. Students who plan to study abroad should review the Aid for Study Abroad Policy.

Need-Based Financial Aid is awarded annually based on the aid application deadline and available funds, so you should apply as soon as possible after October 1. The application deadlines are: April 15 for incoming and returning students, August 15 for fall transfer students, and January 15 for spring incoming and transfer students. Applications completed for incoming and returning students after April 15 but before July 1 will receive a reduced award. Applications will not be accepted after July 1.

All appropriate forms must be filed according to the directions and deadlines provided. For incoming freshmen who have completed the need-based financial aid application, official award letters will be e-mailed out within five days of their corresponding acceptance dates. For need-based financial aid applications completed after those dates, aid packages will be e-mailed on a rolling basis. Award letters for returning students who apply for financial aid each year are e-mailed in June to the student’s Grove City College e-mail address.

Changes in family circumstances that would result in a significant change in ability to pay should be reported to the College’s Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.

Grove City College Net Price Calculator

The Grove City College Net Price Calculator collects financial and additional information to calculate an estimated EFC. It then provides an estimated financial aid package to provide students with a sense of what it will cost to attend Grove City College for the year.

Have you ever thought about college in terms of short-term and long-term costs? 

We think about it all the time! Short-terms costs are those that typically come to mind such as tuition and room and board. Long-term costs are what economists refer to as “opportunity costs” or costs associated with choosing one course of action over another. For example, the average Grove City College graduate earns more than 87% of college graduates in the marketplace today and pays off student loans three years early. Grove City College students also graduate on time at a much higher rate than students from most of our competitor colleges and, therefore, begin earning impressive salaries earlier. 

Missing the opportunity to attend Grove City College may cost you tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of your career. Long-term opportunity costs can make a college education much more expensive than anticipated if only short-term costs are considered when making a college decision. A college degree is an investment with a lifetime payout. The following provides some information about short-term costs that we have found to be true over the past few years:

Direct Charges Before Financial Aid (2021-2022)Per SemesterPer Year
Room and board$5,340$10,680
Total direct charges before aid$14,995$29,990
Financial Aid & Scholarships  
Average Grove City College scholarship aid for recipients (1)$4,117$8,234
Average outside scholarship aid for recipients (2) $2,008$4,016
Potential direct cost after aid and scholarships and before loans (3) (4)$8,870$17,740

The total cost of tuition at Grove City College is $19,310 per year ($9,655 per semester), and the total cost of room and board is $10,680 per year ($5,340 per semester).

You may want to consider lowering your up-front, out-of-pocket costs by applying for student loans and state grants. Grove City College has a credit-based loan program with a major bank. First-year students can borrow up to $12,000. See Types of Aid for Grove City College Student Loan information or call our office for assistance.(1) 66% of students receive scholarship assistance from Grove City College. Within that total, 47% of students receive need-based aid ranging from $100-$13,300 and 37% of students receive merit-based aid ranging from $500 to full scholarship.

(2) We encourage you to seriously apply for outside scholarships – 168 students in our recent freshman class brought in an average of over $4,000 each in outside scholarships, which were added to their Grove City College institutional aid.

(3) We encourage you to apply for financial aid and scholarships because your results may vary.

(4) We encourage you to visit campus and schedule an interview with an admissions counselor who will guide you and potentially become your advocate for scholarship awards.

Let us help you investigate your costs and your financial aid options so you can make every penny count. Understanding the financial aid process can feel very overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At Grove City College, we are committed to helping you navigate financing college so you can focus on achieving an excellent education at an extraordinary value.


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Grove City College provides many aid options while maintaining one of its core values: Independence. Our financial aid policies and approach to federal funding are unique.


Let us help you determine your true costs to attend Grove City College.

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