The “sticker price” of college can scare students away, but the truth is, few students pay the full price of college. Net price calculators (NPCs) are tools that provide individualized estimates of college costs once a student’s household income, savings, scholarships and grants have been taken into account. All postsecondary schools are mandated to provide NPCs on their websites; however, these tools can be difficult to find. Now, two free new tools combine the NPCs from thousands of institutions into one central location, allowing students, families and advisors to more easily search and compare net price estimates.
College Abacus allows students to calculate an individualized net price estimate from over 5,000 postsecondary institutions in the United States. Students can customize their search and compare the net price of up to three institutions at once. The calculator also factors in the cost of students’ expected living arrangements (at home, on-campus or off-campus).
Pell Abacus, like College Abacus, provides net price estimates, but is specifically designed for students who qualify for the free and reduced price lunch program. The tool is particularly helpful because it allows students to skip information on household savings and income for a quick and easy net price estimate. Students can also use College Abacus for a more customized estimate if they so choose.
With College Abacus and Pell Abacus, students and their families can now comparison shop for affordable college options more easily than ever, empowering them to calculate and compare personalized financial aid options to choose the school best for them.