Salem College is committed to providing an outstanding education at an affordable cost.
The Financial Aid Office helps students get access to the financial resources and guidance they need to take advantage of our commitment to affordability. Our experienced staff is ready to assist and respond to your financial aid questions and requests. No appointment is necessary. Students may walk-in, email, or call our office to speak to a financial aid representative.
Making Sense of College Costs
Here is a tool that may help you estimate the “out-of-pocket” costs of attending Salem, that is, the cost to you after all institutional aid and grants come your way.
When students attend college they are directly responsible for two categories of costs. We call these “tuition and fees”, and “food and housing”. Another term for these costs, taken together, is direct costs. At Salem College for the 2023-2024 academic year, the cost of tuition and fees is $32,236. If a student lives on campus, the food and housing costs are $13,056. Together, the total direct costs are $45,292.
Our commitment to making college affordable means that we work with students to reduce the amount of those costs that they pay themselves. There are two main ways that these costs are reduced. The first is through scholarships that Salem provides to students. These scholarships are based on student academic performance before coming to Salem, and on the interests and performance of students while they are at Salem. (Please note: As an NCAA Division lll participating institution, Salem doesn’t provide athletic scholarships to students, and student athletic ability or participation is NOT considered in the awarding of any merit or need-based financial assistance.)
Students can learn more about Salem scholarships here. The good news, though, is that in the 23-24 academic year, the average amount of scholarships from Salem (sometimes known as “institutional aid”) for first-year students is $20,633.
In addition to institutional aid, students may qualify for grants that help defray their costs. Most of these grants come through the federal and state government and are awarded on the basis of financial need. If you would like to be considered for need-based financial aid, please complete your FAFSA online.
We strongly encourage all students to complete the FAFSA, even if you don’t think you will qualify for need-based financial aid. In addition to determining need-based grants, the FAFSA is the tool the government uses to calculate how much a student can borrow to go to college. Many families choose to invest in their student’s education by borrowing to cover their remaining costs.
We are proud of our ability to make a college education affordable. In 2023-24, Salem was ranked #2 in the US for the economic diversity of its student body, by the New York Times. This means that Salem is among the best colleges in the US in making an education affordable to students regardless of their financial backgrounds.
In addition to the “direct costs” discussed above, the Federal Government requires us to calculate “indirect costs”–the total of other costs that you may incur while you are in college.These costs are for things like books, travel to and from campus, housing (if you do not live on campus) and other miscellaneous expenses. Indirect costs do not appear on students’ bills from Salem, because they are not paid directly to the college, and because they vary based on decisions that students make about expenses while in college.
To learn more about direct and indirect costs, scholarships, grants, and loans, and about Salem’s commitment to affordability, please contact us. (You may also wish to review our FAQ page here. Rest assured, we are in touch with prospective and current students regularly about how they can receive all of the financial aid they deserve as students at Salem College.
The total amount of direct and indirect costs is called the “total cost of attendance.” You can see the total cost of attendance here: Cost of Attendance. Remember, though, that your actual cost may be much less than that, because you may receive scholarships and other forms of financial aid, and because you may not choose to take on all of the indirect costs.
Once your application for admission and request for financial aid are considered, detailed information regarding your specific financial aid package can be found at our secure financial aid portal. Here is the link:
One last note: financial aid can seem complicated. On the other financial aid pages you can:
- Review our FAQs
- Access forms you may need to complete
- Learn more about tuition and fees for all programs
- Get some guidance on how to complete the FAFSA
- Understand more about loans
- Use our net price calculator
Better understand some of the rules we have to follow when we allocate financial aid, including information about:
- Remaining eligible for aid by making satisfactory academic progress
- Determining whether you are a North Carolina resident
- Following federal regulations about your dependency status and special circumstance you may face
- Additional information about study abroad, summer school and outside scholarships