Net Price Calculators
Understanding the cost of college can be a difficult task especially when you are looking at a mix of different schools. In order to make estimating the cost of college easier, the Federal Government has mandated a tool for families to utilize. As of October 2011, all colleges that provide federal financial aid were required to provide a Net Price Calculator (NPC) on their websites. The Net Price Calculator takes the cost of attendance and family financial information to calculate the amount of gift based financial aid the family may receive. Below are some important tips when utilizing a Net Price Calculator to obtain the most helpful results.
- Results of a Net Price Calculator are an estimate and only as accurate as the information you provide. Therefore, when filling out an "NPC" be prepared with the required information such as tax forms, W-2s and a list of assets for both parents and students.
- Not all NPC's are created equal, some schools have chosen to purchase more in-depth calculators and as such, results for some schools may be more accurate than others, so keep in mind to follow directions closely while reading all disclaimers as they can provide information on how accurate the estimate will be.
- Keep in mind that even after completing a school's Net Price Calculator, you will still need to complete the schools required financial aid documents including the FAFSA in order to be eligible for financial aid and that the financial aid award letter is the college's official financial aid offer.