Early Look at College Net Price Calculators Finds Mixed Results
New report casts light on how soon-to-be-required calculators can best help students and families estimate college costs

March 15, 2011
By the end of October, U.S. colleges must meet a federal requirement to create online “net price calculators.” These calculators are intended to help prospective students and their families gauge college affordability, providing early individualized estimates of what particular colleges will cost them after grants and scholarships. We took an early look at how colleges are approaching this requirement and found mixed results for how easy the calculators were to find, use, and understand. Our report offers a series of recommendations for making net price calculators as helpful as possible for students and their families as they weigh important decisions about going to college and how to pay for it.