What is the Net Price Calculator?

The Net Price Calculator is a tool that you can use to estimate your "net price" to attend a particular college or university. Net price is the difference between the "sticker" price (full cost) to attend a specific college, minus any grants and scholarships for which you may be eligible. Sticker price includes direct charges (tuition and fees, room and board) and indirect costs (books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses).

(Source: CollegeBoard’s web page: http://studentnpc.collegeboard.org/what-is-a-net-price-calculator)

How does it work?

  1. First, the Net Price Calculator looks at the sticker price.
  2. Then, using the financial information you enter into the calculator, the Net Price Calculator estimates the amount of money your family would be expected to contribute to pay for college.
  3. Finally, the Net Price Calculator evaluates your eligibility for financial aid at specific colleges by matching your financial and personal characteristics to the criteria that schools use to distribute financial aid (need-based grants as well as merit-based scholarships).

How can the Net Price Calculator help me?

Net price is the key to understanding what a specific college is likely to cost, and allows you to better compare your out-of-pocket expenses from one college to another.

It can help you widen your college choices beyond those institutions that you think you can afford. It is possible that your net cost will be lower at a college with a high sticker price or higher at a college with a lower sticker price. You may find that some colleges you thought were financially out of your reach may be very affordable.

Remember, "financial fit" is just one of many factors you will want to consider in choosing a college.