How to get a discount on college tuition

In a story first reported in the Wall Street Journal, universities are willing to bargain on tuition as students are thinking twice about going to college in the fall.
3:09 | 07/14/20

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Transcript for How to get a discount on college tuition
We'll take a look now at how parents out there can negotiate your way to a lower college tuition and use the uncertainty about this fall to your advantage actually. It's a story we first saw in "The Wall Street journal" and Rebecca Jarvis has the details I know a lot of people are looking for. I know you know something about this from personal experience. Good morning, Amy. Yeah, it's true. My family did this many, many years ago at this point and a number of families and students are successfully negotiating that tuition today. You can appeal that financial aid package. You just have to know how. When David Vogel's son Ryan was accepted to the university of Pittsburgh first came the excitement then the uncertainty. He's really looking forward to this next chapter in his life and going to college and he had been in July right now and my son is supposed to go to school in August. We still don't know what that will look like. Reporter: He's not alone. Across the country as universities grapple with how and if to re-open this fall, about the only thing that's clear is the hefty price tag. The average cost of tuition for a four-year degree at a public school over $41,000 in-state and over $107,000 out. But that doesn't necessarily mean you'll have to pay it. I think families are in a particularly good position to negotiate the amount of their tuition for this upcoming school year because colleges are anxious about filling their seats for the upcoming school year. Reporter: It's exactly what David Vogel did. After multiple zoom calls with the school's financial aid department explaining changes in his financial situation and explaining his son's value to the university -- I was able to save over $8,000 over the four years of his college education. Reporter: So how could you cut your own tuition bill? First up, talk to the right person. If you have received need-based financial aid and have experienced a change in circumstances, you had a want to address your letter to the financial aid office. If you received a merit scholarship, then you generally want to address your letter to the admissions office. Reporter: Next make it personal. They will them why you're excited about attending but that it is just the money that is holding you back. Reporter: Finally keep it reasonable. If you can convey in your request that a small amount of give on their end will make a big difference to your enrollment decision, that is when colleges are most likely to be willing to work with you and increase your funding levels. Reporter: And, remember -- If you don't ask the answer is no so what do you have to lose by reaching out and investing a little time if it saves you $8,000, it saves you $20,000. It's a great return on investment. Reporter: It never hurts to just make sure you are asking the right person. You want to look for the director of financial aid, the director of admissions and it also helps to have a personal letter from the student saying what they're going to do inside of the college community, what they plan to do with their education in the long run.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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