When helping your child select colleges, don't focus on the price tag. Instead, focus on how much will come out of your own pocket.
To accurately assess the cost of a college, you need to know:
- The sticker price.
- How much financial aid you will receive.
Consider two schools:
- College A charges $10,000 a year for tuition and room and board.
- College B charges $20,000 a year.
Which college has the higher price tag? The answer seems obvious: College B.
Which college will cost you more? If College A offers no financial aid while College B offers $15,000, you will pay less for College B (even though it has the higher price tag).
Sallie Mae's Education Investment Planner® is a free online tool that lets you estimate the full cost of a college degree, compare schools, determine if student loans are needed, and project monthly payments.
The price of college and what's in the bill