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How Accurate is the Net Price Calculator?

3kids2dogs3kids2dogs 82 replies14 postsRegistered User Junior Member
edited August 13 in Tulane University
Guess the subject says it all. Unbelieveably, the net price calculator had Tulane at a pretty reasonable rate compared to other schools she is interested in. Not cheaper, but within a couple thousand of the more expensive ones.

I'm a Tulane alum myself - loved the school and my time there, but we cannot comfortably afford $70K+ a year (nor do I think it's worth that price), so I was afraid to talk it up to my daughter due to the price.

If the Net Price Calculator is reasonably accurate, we will likely add it to our Spring Break trip this year.
edited August 13
6 replies
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Replies to: How Accurate is the Net Price Calculator?

  • brantlybrantly 3873 replies67 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Depends. Is your income all W-2 income, or do you own a business?
    Are you married to the other parent of your child? Or divorced or never married?
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  • 3kids2dogs3kids2dogs 82 replies14 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    It's all very normal, run of the mill income. Married, live together, W-2, etc.

    It's just that the calculator results for Tulane provided a large "Tulane Scholarship" that doesn't really match anything on their website (we're talking $36,300 and the largest tuition merit scholarship on the website was listed as $32,000).

    Now, my daughter is a great student, but I would think the $32,000 scholarships wouldn't be tossed around willy nilly and our EFC is around $40,000 so we are not considered poor in the financial aid world.

    I don't want to be suckered into adding Tulane to our list and having my kid love the school (and because I went there, I know there's a lot to love) and then have them tag our family for $60-70K and I have to say she can't go.

    So, for previous applications (even if you didn't ultimately choose Tulane), was the net price calculator accurate for your financial aid award?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28775 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    This is an issue with many of the schools with price tags that are even surpassing the $80k a year range. It’s not an isolated issue with Tulane. So unless all of the other considerations are going to be markedly less expensive, the whole subject of what you are willing and able to pay, what schools might give in financial aid, what merit awards might come into the picture, is an essential conversation. As is research on what the various schools are going to expect you to pay.

    Most NPCs seem to be close to what expected cost ends up IF there aren’t unusual financial situations in the picture. Family businesses, non Custodial parents (divorce, separation) are two common situations that can warp the results.

    If you don’t have any such issues, I suggest running the NPC for similar schools. Tulane does not guarantee to meet full need but tends to give out fairly large merit awards. Try schools like Richmond, Notre Dame , Northwestern and see what they say you would pay. I picked them because although all full pay, they use varying formulas. Also look at Fordham, Syracuse, Emory, schools that do NOT guarantee full pay. It’ll give you some ideas what various schools give in the way of aid. Fordham has a guaranteed merit component to its NPC which is why I included it
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  • brantlybrantly 3873 replies67 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 13
    It should be pretty accurate if you have only W-2 income and are married to the student's other parent. Did the Tulane NPC ask about the student's GPA and SAT/ACT scores? If so, the college is including merit scholarships in its assessment,
    Try schools like Richmond, Notre Dame , Northwestern and see what they say you would pay. I picked them because although all full pay, they use varying formulas. Also look at Fordham, Syracuse, Emory, schools that do NOT guarantee full pay.
    I think you mean "meets full need" not "full pay." A family can be full pay, but a college can be meets-full-need. Just so there's no confusion.

    edited August 13
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  • pishicacapishicaca 275 replies8 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 13
    For our D18, the NPC actually gave us a higher number than our actual net cost. We are full pay, so nothing need-based in our numbers, but with merit award Tulane ended up being less expensive than Richmond, Vanderbilt, Denison, William and Mary and UVA.
    edited August 13
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  • AH1310AH1310 56 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Tulane's (non needs based) merit is a bit of a wildcard right now in my opinion. They have openly stated they are going to direct more of the scholarship money to needs based vs. merit. We saw a slight change in that already last year when fewer kids were given merit and that merit given was lower. I believe for my son the calculator said he would be given 34-36K and he ended up getting $28K on his letter. Even reading CC here, you will see that students with very similar scores (sometimes identical) were all over the board with merit. I didn't see any in the $34K range, I think $30-32K was the tops. That being said, Tulane still gives a higher number of full tuition merit scholarships than many other schools. I wonder if they include Dean's Honor and Paul Tulane as part of the "average" amount of scholarship money given. I would take your number down and pretend that they will give you $25K in merit and see where that leaves you and if you'll still be able to afford it.
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