I’ve heard anecdotally that UNH-Durham gives OOS students more than expected/calculated on their NPC while UDelaware gives less. Just wondering what people’s experience has been with other schools.
Least useful net price calculator:
Put in a Texas resident from a $25,000 income family applying to UT Austin.
“Total cost $28062”
“Estimated grant and/or scholarship assistance: $215-$37494/year”
“Estimated net cost: $0-27847/year”
Now that IS less than useful! This is what I feared would be par for the course when the NPCs were mandated. I have been pleasantly surprised to see that they are typically better than that.
NPCs tend to breakdown for unusual financial circumstances (international students, restaurant/business owners, non-custodial parents etc.) Every school calculates your need differently, so while NPCs are an okay estimate (there’s nothing better out there,) they’re not a guarantee of aid.
Hope that helps!
Some colleges are better than others at accounting for some of these.
For example, Princeton clearly explains the different family situations that are accounted for in its methodology (which may differ from that of other colleges): https://swebapps.princeton.edu/FinAid/finaid_form.pl . But some other colleges do not clearly explain on their net price calculators that they require the non-custodial parent information in parental divorce cases, leading users to assume incorrectly that only custodial parent information is required, leading to unrealistically optimistic results.
Also, net price calculators are only as accurate as the input data. If the parents are unwilling to give accurate input data (probably common when they are divorced), the result is unlikely to be accurate.