But what would be the penalty if the DOE made such a requirement? Should the DOE withhold grant money? Who does that hurt if the DOE gives the school less SEOG money? What else could they do to punish the school for having an inaccurate NPC? I don’t think they could force a school to let the students attend for the lower tuition listed on the NPC, or force the school to give the aid promised because there is no way to check that the student or family entered all the correct info into the NPC. I think it would cause schools to very much underestimate the amount of aid that would be available if the school had to honor the NPC.
My daughter’s school did not set the tuition for the Fall until July 1, long after (almost 18 months later in some cases) all the seniors in hs had used the NPC to pick and apply to schools, and just days before we had to pay the tuition. We used the NPCs as an estimate, and in most cases it was fairly close (if not under) to what the FA offers were, after the tuition increases were adjusted. Some of the merit awards had actually increased and there is no way that a student using the NPC in September or Oct can know what will increase or decrease for the following fall. Even the Pell grant amounts are not set for the next year until June.