Using the Net Price Calculator
Higher education, unlike many other purchases, is odd because the sticker price means very little. Need-based financial aid and grants can reduce the out-of-pocket cost of a college education for many students. But how do you know which colleges will give you and your family the most financial aid? Enter the Net Price Calculator (or NPC for short).
What exactly is the Net Price Calculator?
The Net Price Calculator is an online tool that calculates the “net price” or cost after taking into account need-based financial aid of a particular college:
Each college in United States has an individual calculator that allows students and parents to enter personal financial information (income, size of household, etc.) and calculate an estimate of need-based financial aid. This will show you the real cost of attendance.
Where can I find the Net Price Calculator?
Each college actually has their own calculator! We compiled a list of Net Price Calculators many colleges and universities that you can find at the bottom of the post. However, you can also find them on the financial aid section of the college website.
How do I use it?
The NPC will take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete (some of them are more extensive than others). We recommend that students and parents sit down to fill out the NPC together. It can also be very helpful to have recent tax information available.
What about merit scholarships?
Unfortunately, the NPC is not designed to predict your likelihood of winning college-specific merit scholarships. The good news is that the estimated cost of attendance at any college has the potential to be even lower if you win additional scholarships.
- Resource: Discover top colleges that award merit scholarships here
The Net Price Calculator is not a guarantee
The Net Price Calculator is not an official financial award letter and some calculators are more accurate them others. That’s why there can be some variation between the NPC and your actual financial aid award letter (especially if any financial circumstances change). However, the calculators should be accurate within a few thousand dollars.
- Students will still need to submit required financial aid applications, including the FAFSA, to be eligible for financial aid.
Net Price Calculators by College
One misconception about the Net Price Calculator is that it is a single calculator. Instead, every college or university has their own calculator. While there may be other more general tools to estimate financial aid at a particular college or university, the college-specific Net Price Calculator is the most accurate resource for students and parents.
Below you will find the Net Price Calculators by college or university:
- Arizona State University
- Brown University
- University of California at Berkeley
- University of California at Los Angeles
- Carnegie Mellon University
- University of Chicago
- Columbia University
- University of Connecticut
- Cornell University
- Dartmouth College
- Duke University
- Emory University
- Harvard University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- New York University (NYU)
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of Pennsylvania
- Princeton University
- Purdue University
- Rice University
- Rutgers University
- University of Southern California
- Stanford University
- Tufts University
- Tulane University
- Vanderbilt University
- University of Virginia
- Wake Forest University
- Yale University
Every student should fill out the Net Price Calculator to estimate their financial aid. While Net Price Calculators can’t completely predict the future, they are the best tools to estimate the financial cost of college.