Photo: Flickr / keithusc
You can’t look at price tags to determine what your cost will be. Thanks to grants and scholarships, two-thirds of college students don’t pay full price. Traditionally, families haven’t known what a college would really cost until teenagers applied. Students, however, often didn’t get their financial aid packages until a month or two before the freshman deposit was due.
Luckily, there is a new way to determine what your price will be before your child starts getting serious about any college. You can use a school’s net price calculator.
New net price calculators
The net price calculator is a new federally mandated tool that allows a family to obtain a personalised estimate of what a particular school will cost before a teenager ever applies.
These calculators will go a long way towards making college pricing transparent. The upcoming admission season will be the first time these net price calculators will be available to all applicants.
Before using a net price calculator (which schools must post on the websites), you should gather your latest income tax return and investment statements for taxable accounts and college accounts. If your child has earned a salary and/or has investments in his own name, you will need that information too.