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Net Price Calculators

nickthekidnickthekid 120 replies48 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I’m going to calculate the cost of all my colleges through net price calculators. I’m willing to spend, at most, $20,000 per year. Would it be reasonable to take a college off my list entirely if my net price comes out to be $30,000 or more? If not, what should I set this maximum number to? Thanks.
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Replies to: Net Price Calculators

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77783 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 21
    If your limit is $20k, then any college that costs more is unaffordable if you do not earn a large enough merit scholarship. This may move the college to a more difficult category (e.g. safety for admission, but reach for the scholarship).

    Note also that merit scholarships and need based aid combined may not be fully additive or stacked. Commonly, colleges will first replace student loan and work, but then replace grants before replacing parent contribution. But colleges do vary.
    edited July 21
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22703 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You have to know what the NPC includes.

    For one child, it gave an estimate of merit award but didn't include 2 other (much smaller) grants from the school, some of the state grants, and it didn't include her athletic award.

    For my other child, it didn't include a talent scholarship or some of the (non-guaranteed) alum grants that the school used in lieu of need based financial aid.

    The NPCs are helpful, but they don't always tell the whole story.
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  • happy1happy1 22769 replies2242 threadsVerified Member Senior Member
    edited July 21
    Talk to your parents and see if they would commit to paying the costs of an in-state university. Your budget right now will not cover a NYS university if you live on campus.

    If the $20k limit is a hard cap, I would not go above the limit of federal loans you can take out ($5,500 freshman year).
    edited July 21
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  • thedreamydaisythedreamydaisy 150 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 21
    Keep in mind you can only take out $5,500 max in loans your Freshman year. Anything above that, your parents would need to take out herself or co-sign for you.
    edited July 21
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  • nickthekidnickthekid 120 replies48 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I’m hoping to not take too much out in loans, and I’m also hoping that between need and merit aid I can get down some of my colleges to $20,000 and below. But my main question is if the calculators show $30,000 or above should I just take them off my list entirely or still give it a chance?
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  • nickthekidnickthekid 120 replies48 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    How would it not cover it if I get financial and merit aid? Of course the base price is not below $20,000 but I’m hoping my financial aid package will.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2107 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "But my main question is if the calculators show $30,000 or above should I just take them off my list entirely or still give it a chance?"

    This is a personal choice. I will say the NPCs ask for a lot of information I don't care to share with my DD at this time. Chances are, if you run these yourself, you may find you have to guess at a lot of the answers. This is going to give you inaccurate results. I'm not sure how open your parents are to sharing the information. You might sit down with them and talk about it. If they don't want to reveal their finances to you, perhaps you could assemble all the links and ask them to go through each one and give you the final expected family contributions. Also, it is important that they do it for each college. There is a temptation to go through two or three, find they're getting similar answers, and extrapolate that to mean that's about the price they will pay anywhere. Not true! I have done EFCs and gotten answers $30,000 apart with the same information! So take this exercize seriously and do each NPC as accurately as possible. The answer to your original question on this post should become clearer.
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  • nickthekidnickthekid 120 replies48 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Sounds good thank you.
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