Connect with us

Student Loans

Why you need to use college net price calculators

Published

on

Before you let your teenager apply to colleges, you need to use each college’s net price calculator.

Unless money is no object and you can afford to pay full price for any colleges, turning to net price calculators is critical.

If you don’t know what these calculators are – and most parents don’t – here are 10 things you need to know about this valuable tool:

1. These calculators provide a familys net price.

The net price represents what a student will have to pay after scholarships and grants from the federal and state governments and the school itself are subtracted.

Lets say, for example, that a college costs $50,000 and the student will receive a $20,000 award from the school and a state grant of $5,000. The net price for this student would be $25,000.

The net price equals the true price of the college because it only considers free money and disregards loans when calculating the cost of a school.

You can see just how many different prices you can generate when using net price calculators by reading about the experience of a mother in Washington State. I wrote the following post several years ago, but it’s still highly relevant:

Case Study: What 66 Schools Would Cost This Family

2. Use net price calculators to test academic scenarios.

You should turn to these calculators to get a handle on what sort of applicants capture the best awards at an institution. What kind of grade point averages or test scores does it take for a student to win a greater award from a specific school?

With this tool, you can manipulate the figures to see whether it would be worth it for your child, for instance, to take the SAT or ACT again. Would a higher test score boost your child’s potential package? Would a slightly higher GPA matter?

With so much money at stake, it’s worth taking the time to use these calculators strategically.

3. Use net price calculators to weigh impact of home equity.

Net price calculators can also be handy when you want to figure out how a school treats home equity for financial aid purposes.

The vast majority of colleges and universities do not consider equity in a primary home, but many schools (nearly all private) that use the CSS Profile financial aid form do consider home equity. How the roughly 200 colleges treat home equity will vary.

4. Calculators will vary in what information they require.

To use many calculators, and particularly those of selective private schools, you will need your tax return and bank/investment statements. If your child has income and a bank account, you should gather that information too.

If the school provides merit scholarships, in addition to providing need-based aid, a good calculator will ask for additional information such as a teenagers GPA, test scores, class rank, and activities.

A thorough calculator could take you 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

5. Some net price calculators are inaccurate.

The weakest calculators rely on a federal template. Using a calculator that relies on the federal template could take 30 seconds or less to complete!

The questions are minimal, which leads to dubious cost estimates.

These federal calculators are only meant to provide personalized cost estimates — faulty or not — to families seeking need-based aid. And even then, the need-based aid answers are simply averages.

A University of Pennsylvania report in 2019 determined that more than 50% of public universities and less than 25% of private institutions use the federal template.

6. The net price calculators using the federal template are worthless for families not seeking need-based aid.

These federally-based calculators will be absolutely worthless for wealthier families strictly seeking merit scholarships. The schools using the federal template ask only two or three questions if the family isn’t seeking need-based aid.

Here are the two questions that I answered when I tried out American University’s net price calculator in February 2020:

 

How could this university provide an accurate net price when all it knows about an applicant is his/her age and the decision not to apply for need-based aid!

Based on the answers to these two questions, I received this net price estimate from American University’s net price calculator:

 

7. The federal template asks inadequate questions for those seeking financial aid.

These federal calculators don’t ask for actual income and they ignore assets! These calculators just ask parents to pick an income range. The highest income level is just Above $99,000.”

americanx

Besides American University, some more prominent private institutions that rely on the federal inspired calculators include:

  • Bennington College
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Duquesne University
  • New York University

Why would schools use amediocre calculator? Here are two potential reasons:

Creating an accurate calculator isn’t a priority for some schools, which may also believe that applicants aren’t interested in them.

Private schools can favor mediocre calculators because the tools can mask the true cost of their schools. Admission officers may advise applicants to ignore worrisome calculator results and apply anyway because the calculator results are unreliable.

8. Look to see that the costs are up-to-date.

When using calculators check to see if the prices are current.

Unfortunately, schools that use the federal template will be using cost-of-attendance figures that are at least two years old.

In the below example, NYU is using 2017-2018 figures when I checked today even though high school seniors would be looking at the price for the 2021-2022 school year!

9. Net price estimates are not guarantees.

The price that a net price calculator spits out is not necessarily what you will pay. While the goal of good calculators is to provide families with solid cost estimates, the figures aren’t binding. You can appeal for the result (assuming it was a better award than the actual one), but whether you will be successful can depend on such things as how the college’s admission numbers are doing and how much the school wants the child.
In general, the net prices generated by schools that have developed their own calculators should be much more accurate and these institutions should be more willing to stand behind their estimates. It makes sense to ask schools about the accuracy of their calculators.

10. Where you can find net price calculators.

Schools are federally obligated to post their net price calculator for freshmen on their website. It can be hard, however, finding these calculators.

An easy way to look for a schools calculator is to Google the name of the institution and net price calculator.

Learn more:

It’s 2020 and college prices have never been higher.

You can, however, discover how to slash college costs by enrolling in my online course, The College Cost Lab. Taking my course will turn you into an educated college consumer and I believe you absolutely need that knowledge to make the best college decisions that won’t slam you financially.

The post Why you need to use college net price calculators appeared first on The College Solution.

By: Lynn O’Shaughnessy
Title: Why you need to use college net price calculators
Sourced From: www.thecollegesolution.com/why-you-need-to-use-college-net-price-calculators/
Published Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2020 22:04:07 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://getinvestmentadvise.com/student-loans/researching-colleges-during-a-pandemic/

Continue Reading
Advertisement Attention Stock Investors

Student Loans

I SOLD A.I. ART ON ETSY FOR 30 DAYS! – A.I SIDE HUSTLE RESULTS

Published

on

Continue Reading

Student Loans

Apply Online For Student Loans

Published

on

Apply Online For Student Loans

Applying online for student loans is a convenient and efficient way to secure funding for your education. Whether you are facing financial difficulties or simply want to keep your debts to a minimum, student loans can help alleviate the financial burden while you focus on your studies.

One of the main advantages of student loans is that they typically offer lower interest rates compared to other types of loans. Additionally, repayment is often deferred until after you graduate, giving you time to establish your career and increase your income potential.

By applying online, you have access to a wider range of lenders, allowing you to compare different loan offers and choose the one that best suits your needs. Look for lenders offering competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and any additional incentives that may be available.

Student loans can be used to cover various expenses related to your education, including tuition fees, housing, course materials, and living expenses. While your personal bank may be willing to provide a student loan, applying online gives you more options and potentially better terms.

However, it’s important to remember that student loans are still loans, and you should borrow responsibly. It’s advisable to budget regularly and avoid unnecessary purchases or luxuries to ensure you can manage your loan repayments in the future.

Before applying for student loans, explore other options such as scholarships, grants, or parental funding. These resources can help reduce the amount you need to borrow and minimize your financial obligations.

Lastly, it’s crucial to have confidence in your ability to secure a salary that will enable you to meet your loan repayments after graduation. Work hard to achieve the grades and qualifications necessary for your desired career, as this will increase your chances of finding a well-paying job.

In conclusion, applying online for student loans can provide you with the financial support needed to pursue your education. However, it’s important to borrow responsibly, explore other funding options, and plan for a successful career to ensure you can manage your loan repayments effectively.

Continue Reading

Student Loans

Webinar Recap: How COVID-19 is Affecting Financial Aid

Published

on

Many families are facing new financial challenges in light of the coronavirus emergency, and College Confidential has fielded dozens of questions on this topic recently. To address those queries, we hosted a webinar on April 9 entitled “Paying for College Amid Changes Due to the Impact of COVID-19.”


During the event, moderated by Aaron Murphy, manager of learning and development with Inside Track, the following panelists offered their perspectives on the issue:

  • Denise Trusty, director of financial aid with Morehead State University
  • Laura Reisert Kalinkewicz, associate vice president of college partnerships with RaiseMe
  • Amy Nelson, director of sales at International Scholarship and Tuition Services
  • Charlie Javice, founder and CEO of Frank.

Check out the following topics that the panelists discussed, along with their views of how things may unfold amid the financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

Family Finances Changed? Contact Your Schools

If you plan to start college in the fall as a freshman — or return to school as an existing student — and your financial situation has changed since you applied for financial aid, you should contact the colleges on your list immediately. Financial aid departments can consider appeals for more money, but must base these decisions on each individual student’s situation, Trusty said.

“I know with Morehead State, where I work, we will be doing professional judgement calls on all students who say they’ve been affected,” she noted. “We will reach out to those students to see what we can do to help them maybe obtain additional funding, additional grants, scholarships, whatever they would be eligible for. We do professional judgment all the time for our students, because things happen all the time. This year will be an especially large amount of those, I’m sure, but those are up to individual schools to make that call for their students.”

In addition, she added, the Department of Education has set aside over $6 billion for additional grants and scholarships that the universities will be able to use. “Currently, I don’t know how that’s all going to play into this,” Trusty said. “So that will be up to each individual university on how they lay those out. I know it will be beneficial, I just don’t know how available that will be to each student.”

Keep in mind that schools are accustomed to reviewing financial aid appeals, and they all have processes in place for to do so. “It is really, really important to know that schools typically leave a budget from 10 percent to 20 percent or so of their financial aid dollars for what would be called a professional judgment bucket,”Javice said. “Therefore, there is additional money to be had, and it’s up to you to request it. You should approach your school as soon as you know you might need more money, and be prepared to show supporting documentation demonstrating how your finances are different from when you filed your FAFSA initially. This might require proof of a job loss, medical bills, a cut in pay or another such issue, Javice said.

In addition, if another school gave you a better financial offer, you can petition the school that gave you the lower offer for more money, Javice noted. “This typically works better for private institutions versus public state schools, given the fact that they have a little bit more discrepancy and more dollars to put to work in terms of a tuition discount,” she added. “This is solely up to the school on a case by case basis.” In some cases, the money is distributed on a first come, first serve timeline, so don’t wait if you know you need more aid.

Although financial aid can be a stressful topic, try not to be emotional when you request more money, Javice added. You’ll get a lot further by having organized documentation to present than you would by getting angry or upset, she noted.

Consider Outside Scholarships

The coronavirus situation has changed plans not only for incoming freshmen, but also for current college students, Nelson said. “Organizations are stepping up and trying to find ways to provide additional scholarship opportunities this year,” she noted. Students should be proactive in seeking those options.

Raise Me is offering new micro-scholarships for students who are seeking additional funding sources, Kalinkewicz said. In addition, she encourages students to ask colleges for more time to make decisions, even if the school hasn’t extended its deposit process. You can always try and request additional time to get your financial aid package right, she noted.

Finding more money is not relegated to younger students, Javice added. “Adult learners comprise the biggest group of people actually going to college today,” she noted. It’s very common for people to be seeking new types of skills and going back to college to gain additional degrees. Financial aid is available to adult learners, and they may even get aid to pay such costs as rent, she added. In addition, they can seek outside scholarships or employer-matching funds to pay for their educations.

Not Necessarily Too Late to File FAFSA

Students who didn’t file a FAFSA already should do that as soon as possible so you can get access to financial aid funds, Javice said. Federal FAFSA deadlines are usually in June, but states make their own deadlines for state aid. Some states, such as New Jersey, have moved their deadlines back for this year, so check to make sure you stay on top of your deadlines.

And if you file for financial aid and you decide you don’t want it, you can always decline the financial offer or portions of that offer, Nelson said. Your best bet is to apply so you can take what you need and decline any amounts you don’t need. Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, you should apply anyway because you could be surprised at what you’re offered. “You really need to complete that [FAFSA] process every year,” Nelson said. “The process is very easy, and jobs can come and go. It’s your safety net and you want to make sure you’ve completed it. It makes it a whole lot easier when situations like this arise.”

Some colleges also have supplemental applications to fill out for particular types of aid, so always reach out to your financial aid office for information on which documentation you should be completing, Kalinkewicz said.

Could Families — Not Schools — Be in the Driver’s Seat?

Because many merit scholarships are based on test scores and GPAs, some high school juniors are concerned that they won’t have access to those in the coming year. With test dates being canceled and grades moving to pass/fail, they fear they won’t meet the criteria to earn such scholarships.

“It’s clear to me that colleges and universities know the extraordinary circumstances we’re under,” Nelson said. “All schools are leaning forward and considering all options as the situation develops. I would continue to encourage juniors to stay engaged and stay informed.” You should also watch to see what happens with test dates, she said. The ACT and SAT dates could change, and some schools may forego the need for a test score altogether, she added.

In addition, some merit scholarships that have traditionally been based on test scores may become test optional, Kalinkewicz noted.

Keep in mind that in many cases, families are in the driver’s seat rather than having the colleges be in charge, Javice said. Some schools have lost revenue and are very eager for students right now, “so if you are scared because you thought you could never get into a specific school from an admission criteria standpoint, this is your year to stretch, this is your year to think about the schools that are your reach category and go for it, because schools need the money and need the students. So the power that used to be in an admissions office is in you, the student or the family’s hands,” she said.

She also advises juniors to request application waivers from schools to save the $50 to $100 or so per application that they would normally pay. The schools may say no, but it won’t hurt to ask, she advised. “Persistence is key when dealing with schools,” Javice noted.

Federal Student Loans Payment Suspended

As many families are aware, payments on federal student loans are automatically suspended from March 13 through September 30, 2020 thanks to the government’s CARES Act. This is essential to keep in mind, particularly for families that have multiple children in various stages of the college process.

“You will stop paying your loans and you will have zero interest from now until September 30, and that’s important for parents to know,” Nelson said regarding existing federal student loans. “If you had an auto draft, the auto draft has been shut off and will not continue. You can, however, continue to make those payments if you’d like, and any interest you had before March 13, once that interest is paid up, all your payments will go directly toward your principal.” She advises families with federally-backed loans to check with their loan servicing agents, because they have a lot of information for both parent and student borrowers on how the CARES Act will impact payments for the next six months.

Student Job Gone? Colleges Might Help

For students who expect to earn money via part-time or full-time work to pay for college, but can’t do so due to the coronavirus, colleges may have resources to help. “There are many colleges and universities that have put together emergency grants for students to cover expenses that they were maybe not expecting because of COVID-19,” Nelson said. “They are making accommodations to try and make up for that lost income for students.”

Trusty said Morehead State is continuing to pay students who were on federal work-study. “If they had a job, we are still paying them right now as if they were working, although they are not. In the summer, those funds will be flipped over to emergency grant funds. So we will make sure that our students are covered and can live as if they were employed with the work-study position.”

Some colleges have even made remote work available to students, Kalinkewicz added. Therefore, contact your financial aid office to determine if any accommodations are available to make up for lost student income whenever possible.

Consider Other Options to Save

If you are seeking ways to save money on college, you should also consider other resources, whether that means less expensive colleges, in-state options or potentially transferring down the road, Janice said. You can also save money by taking classes at a community college to pay a lower cost for your credits that can be transferred to a four-year college later.

“If you have that target institution in mind — maybe you’ve already been admitted there but your family has determined a year of community college will really help stretch things further — work on articulation agreements or a plan so you are taking the right classes that actually have the ability to transfer toward the degree you want at your target institution, not necessarily just as credit,” Kalinkewicz said.

In addition, many colleges offer merit aid for transfer students, she added. So always look for every potential financial aid and scholarship resource to best maximize your package and allow your dollars to stretch as far as possible.

Resource: To review the entire hour-long webinar, you can watch the replay here.

Share Your Thoughts

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Check out our forum to contribute to the conversation!

By: Torrey Kim
Title: Webinar Recap: How COVID-19 is Affecting Financial Aid
Sourced From: insights.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-amid-covid-19
Published Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2020 15:22:20 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://getinvestmentadvise.com/student-loans/former-georgetown-ao-demystifies-elite-admissions-in-new-book/

Continue Reading

Trending