The Rising Cost of a College Education: What Tools Exist to Reduce Future Financial Burden?

Much has been made of late about the rising cost of higher education.  And with good reason.  Over the last three decades, college tuition has far outstripped the cost of almost every other major family expense imaginable.  While housing costs have rising over 300% during that time and health care costs — controversial and much agonized over — have risen over 600 percent, the cost of a college education has risen a whopping 1,200% during the same period.  What’s more, over the last 9 years the proportion of student debt to personal income has risen from 3% to over 7.5%.  Clearly the American system and culture of funding a college education is in crisis.

There are a number of strategies that should be adopted by the educated consumer to determine their options.  One is “to get educated” regarding the real world options open to them with respect to college choice and funding and ultimately, to reducing their debt post-graduation.

College Net Price Calculators. As we have indicated previously on the MyCollegePrice blog, many consumers do not understand nor did they previously have the tools to determine how to figure out the true cost of attending specific colleges given their specific personal and financial circumstances.  In 2011 colleges were mandated by the Federal government to report and make available information on student tuition and other costs via “net price calculators” on their websites.  What these calculators seek to do is give parents and prospective students a way to calculate how much of a reduction off the published “list price” of an institution they may receive, based on their family composition, number of children in school, financial assets and yearly earnings.  Based on these calculations, consumers can theoretically approximate the likely cost TO THEM of attendance at that institution, i.e., the “net price”.

All well and good. However, the accuracy and reliability of these individual college calculators has proven to be highly variable. Some colleges have been extraordinarily rigorous and diligent in updating their calculators to reflect most of the factors that go into their “net price” calculation; others, less so. Moreover, however accurate or reliable an individual college net price calculator may be, it is extremely cumbersome and time-consuming to do these calculations, institution by institution. That is where MyCollegePrice comes in.

MyCollegePrice Universal Net Price Calculator.  Unlike individual college net price calculators, MyCollegePrice offers a calculator that allow consumers to supply their information once and it does the rest.  MyCollegePrice will display to users the net price of colleges by applying personal financial and other factors to these colleges while at the same time taking these individual published and historical aid practices into account.

But that isn’t all, MyCollegePrice creates a list of options suited to the student based on net cost savings anticipated across institutions and takes into account other non-financial factors supplied the user such as academic record and desired area of study.  It goes significantly beyond what the average college net price calculator does in that it seeks to make education options transparent and supports an informed choice.

Register and try our tool today at https://www.mycollegeprice.com/Scenario/StartCollegeSearch

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