How to Save on College Costs With the New ‘Net Price Calculator’

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Adding up college costs will suddenly get simpler starting next month. Here's why.

The following post comes from guest blogger Luis Trujillo of website My Money For College.

If you’re a college student like me, you study  college costs alongside your major. It bored me to death the first time I started doing college comparisons, because I had to go through a whole list of things I had to add up over and over again as I wrote down each of my prospective college choices along with their total cost of attendance.

But I have some great news: The troublesome process of calculating your costs for every college on your list has ended because of a piece of legislation called the Higher Education Act of 2008. That act required all colleges and universities to include a “net price calculator” on their websites by October 2011.

That simple move has a load of benefits…

  1. It will help you conduct your college comparisons faster and easier because it will quickly show you the estimated cost of attendance. I can tell you from experience that comparing colleges is both time-consuming and tiring. You’ll avoid a bunch of the frustration I had to deal with (lucky you).
  2. The calculator will be college-specific, meaning that each college is allowed to use its own method for determining your need. This is really helpful when it comes to estimating the median financial aid you can expect to receive in accordance with your EFC, or Expected Family Contribution, which is the amount of money your family is expected to contribute to your college education and can range from $0 to $99,999.
  3. The calculator will also help you determine if you’re dependent (meaning you depend on your parents) or independent to better estimate your EFC.

This great new tool will be mandatory and vary from college to college. It might have additional features that individual colleges choose to add, but for the most part, you should expect to see the Net Price Calculator on every institution’s website.

If you want more information regarding money for college visit my website and sign up for a free copy of “Secrets to Finding Local Scholarships.”

Stacy Johnson

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