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How to make sensible money choices related to your college search and selection.

  • Families need to talk about finances and affordability long before the admissions decisions and financial aid offers arrive in the spring of senior year.

  • Despite the high “sticker-price” of college, students should know that institutional aid can significantly reduce costs.

  • Colleges have different price points. Price is mainly driven by type of program (2 or 4 year), type of institution (public or private) and location.

  • There are many ways to finance college. Most families cover the cost of college with a combination of institutional aid, family savings, work- study, and loan(s).

  • Cost of Attendance: The cost to attend college, including tuition, room, board, books, transportation and other fees. All schools that receive federal funds must publicly display the cost of attendance.

  • Net Price Calculator: A tool found on all college websites that allows prospective students to enter information about themselves and get an estimate for what they will need to pay to attend.

FAQ: Get answers on these and many other questions

  • How much does my parents' income affect my financial aid? Will applying for financial aid impact my chances?

  • I have siblings who will be in college at the same time as me. Will financial aid offices take that into account?

Toolkit: Money Matters: College Affordability & Financial Aid

Videos are captioned in multiple languages. Click the "CC" (closed caption) button on each video.

  • Discussing finances at the start of the college search (4:37)
    Minimize the risk of disappointment and heartbreak at decision time.

  • What is financial fit?​​​​​​​ (6:30)
    How to make sure your college list is aligned with your family's financial situation.

  • Financial Aid Impact on Decisions​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ (1:18)
    Understanding whether a college you’re considering is "need-blind" or “need-aware” is an important part of the exploration phase.


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