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Another blurb from a private college's web site:

Financial aid eligibility is the difference between the total cost of attending a given college and the family contribution. This total cost includes tuition and fees, room and board, an allowance for books, supplies, and other incidental expenses, and a travel allowance where warranted.

For example, assume an estimated cost of $13,000 at a state university. A student whose family contribution is $7,000 would have a financial aid eligibility of $6,000 if he or she lived in a dormitory at that state university. The same student would have a financial aid eligibility more than $25,000 if he or she lived on campus at [this college].

In other words, the family contribution is $7,000 at both the state university and the private college. It only cost more to attend a private college if your family contribution would exceed the $13,000 cost of attending the state university.

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