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Next Steps Blog


Net Price Calculator – Figuring Out the Cost of College 

by Susan Lee
Director of College Counseling

As of last October, colleges were required by Congress to include a Net Price Calculator (example here from Yale) on their websites. This is a tool that provides an approximation of the costs of that college for an individual family. 

The intention of the mandate is to encourage colleges to be more transparent about the actual cost of the college so that a potential student can have realistic expectations up front.  After inputting some basic information (income, assets, family size, age of older parent, etc.), the calculator will estimate the potential family’s financial need and what is likely to be included in a financial aid package (grants, loans, work, etc.).  While this is not a perfect tool, it is a great resource for families beginning the financial aid process.

There are many subjective factors that might be considered and you will not know what the actual package will be until after the student is admitted.  But, in most cases, the Net Price Calculator will provide a close estimate to the final package. If you go to the College’s website, search for the Net Price Calculator.  Every college will have it!

Posted by Kristen Bailey on Monday October, 1, 2012 at 10:56AM


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Susan Lee
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9511

Lauren Gersick
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9512

Leslie Schaffer
College Counseling Assistant
415 593 9519

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