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Net Price Calculators: 8 Things You Must Know

Piggy bank with calculator and money reprenting what you need to know about net price calculatorsWhen students start creating their college list, smart families make sure they use the Net Price Calculator on all possibilities before adding them to the final list. Net Price Calculators (NPC) provide families with the estimated price they will pay after deducting for gift aid. This is called the average net price. Essentially, NPCs provide the average paid by students with similar financial backgrounds excluding loans and work-study. They have only been around since 2011 and can be a valuable tool for families targeting colleges generous with financial aid. However, they aren’t perfect and anyone who uses NPCs need to keep the following in mind:

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394 Colleges Awarding an Average $20,000+ College Scholarships to Freshmen

Opening treasure chest representing colleges where the average college scholarship is over $20,000(Updated for 2021) For real. There are 394 colleges where the average college scholarship (institutional grant or merit) is over $20,000, an increase of 32 schools compared to last year. What’s the catch? There are only 288 (up from 250 in 2020) schools where 90% or more of freshmen receive institutional grants. Surprisingly enough, there are only 28 schools where 50% or fewer of freshmen receive an institutional grant of $20,000 or more.

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COVID-19 Wreck Your College Plans? Here’s the One Thing You Must Do

Student happy about post COVID-19 college plans at TuitionFitThe excitement generated by acceptance letters so many high school seniors received before April 1 has morphed into anxiety if not outright panic as families’ finances have been turned upside down. What was an affordable college before COVID-19 may not be any more. Athletes face uncertainty about scholarship availability. And there are students who would just rather stay a little closer to home than when they first created their college list.

So now what?

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Before Your Teen Applies to College, Make Sure You’ve had “The Talk”

alarm clock and money representing if you have had the college money talk yetAs families approach the college planning process, there’s one thing they need to do before anything else and that is have “the talk.” I know, parents have been putting it off because it can be embarrassing. Who wants to discuss such potentially intimate details with their teenagers? Besides, you’re pretty sure the school counselors have covered the topic so there’s no point in having to suffer through the rolling eyes and general awkwardness if you don’t have to.

Well, I’m telling you right now that you have to because “the talk” I’m referring to isn’t the “birds and the bees” but something just as important, “The College Money Talk.”

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3 Things You Need to Know Before You Submit Your Early Decision Application

Student thinking about early decisionThe first of the Early Decision college admissions deadlines are approaching and students are nervously revising their college application essays. However, before they submit their applications, they need to remember that there are reasons why people criticize Early Decision as primarily benefiting rich kids. As students make one final review of their application, they should make sure they know the following three things about Early Decision.

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5 Ways for Getting Smart About Financial Aid

sign with questions about financial aidThe internet is a wonderful thing, you can find the answer to just about any question including “what is financial aid?” The problem is that are usually so many answers that it’s overwhelming and it’s almost as bad as not knowing the answer at all. So here are five ways for learning about financial aid without wading through page after page of search.

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Largest College Endowments by State

fingers counting gold coins represent largest college endowments by stateEveryone wants to know if colleges are going to open next fall. Or rather if they are going to open for in-person classes since by now the colleges have demonstrated their ability to conduct virtual classes. Of course, if they are mandated to remain shut-down, it’s not a question they have to answer. But otherwise, there are a lot of reasons why colleges will be welcoming students on campus for classes coming this fall and they pretty much all come down to money.

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Colleges Most Likely to Meet Financial Need List

Notepad with financial aid written on itThis is a list of over 200 colleges most likely to provide need-based aid (not based on academic merit) to students. I include schools on the list if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • Meet 95% or more of freshman financial need according to the Common Data Set (CDS)
  • The Average Net Price for freshman with family incomes of $30,000 or less was $8,000 or less.

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