October 3, 2012
This report examines the state of net price calculators nearly a year after almost all U.S. colleges were required to post them on their websites. These online tools are supposed to help consumers look past “sticker price” and get an early, individualized estimate of what a specific college might cost them. Our in-depth look at 50 randomly selected colleges’ calculators found that many are difficult for prospective college students and their families to find, use, and compare. The report includes specific recommendations for colleges and the U.S. Department of Education to make net price calculators more useful to all students and families.