While maintaining full-time status at a four-year university can cost upwards of $30,000 per year, students can study full time at Germanna for roughly $3,000 per year. That's an annual savings of about 90 percent! Bill-paying parties seem pleased with Germanna's tuition rates but say that navigating the financial aid department and award processes proves to be more than slightly frustrating. Germanna is a public, state-supported college—it participates solely in federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant and does not offer any type of in-house or merit-based aid. Basically, this means that students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of more than about $8,000 will not qualify for the Pell Grant and will likely be ineligible for financial assistance. This also means that many high-achievers are denied scholarship aid while students who repeatedly fail courses and study at Germanna simply to remain on their parents’ insurance plans soak up all of the state-given aid. Unfortunately, a good percentage of Germanna’s most scholastically inclined students are forced to go into debt to pay for school, even with the low tuition costs.
For students whose EFCs fall under $8,000, the financial aid process can be a bit of a headache. The financial aid department recently hired new staff members, so students must frequently visit the financial aid office to make sure that all required documentation has been submitted on time and that no surprises will arrive with the tuition bills. Financial aid is definitely helpful, but even students who receive no financial assistance find Germanna to be an affordable alternative to pricier four-year universities, and they agree that they are definitely getting a valuable education for their money.