Photo: Barack Obama via Flikr
This week, 10 colleges and universities met with Vice President Joe Biden to commit to improving the financial transparency about tuition’s and fees. It’s a big step for the Obama Administration, which is hoping this will the beginning of a new trend on campuses across the country.
“Too often, students and families face confusion when comparing financial aid packages, some of which do not clearly differentiate loans from grants, nor distinguish private vs. federal loans, making it difficult to compare aid offers side-by-side,” the White House statement said.
The schools that committed, according to the White House, with Vice President Biden to offer more transparency were:
- Arizona State University
- Miami Dade College
- North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
- State University System of New York (comprised of 64 colleges, universities, and community colleges)
- Syracuse University
- University of Massachusetts System (comprised of 5 universities)
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University System of Maryland (comprised of 12 universities)
- University of Texas System (comprised of 9 universities)
- Vassar College
Here’s what these schools have pledged to make clear to their students:
- How much one year of college will cost.
- Financial aid options to pay this cost. Clearly differentiating between grants and scholarships and loans.
- Net costs after grants and scholarships are taken into account.
- An estimation of the monthly student loan payments the student will need to make after graduation.
- Crucial student results, such as default rates.
This a promising step, especially considering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s push to create a new “Financial Aid Shopping Sheet.” The tool would give parents and students for the first time a streamlined form that would let them easily comparison shop colleges by tuition, graduation rates and financial aid options, BI’s Mandi Woodruff reported.
In addition to the CFPB’s tool, there are other ways to help you make an informed decision.
NerdWallet, the online comparison shopping tool for credit cards, recently told Business Insider that it will be coming out with a similar tool for college education. The new tool will allow students to compare the costs of education based on school or by course of study.
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