Curious About Your Financial Aid Outlook? This Calculator Can Help
Published on Nov 2, 2018 by Ali Datko
The Net Price Calculator offers a snapshot of your eligibility for financial aid.
You submitted applications. You were accepted to one (or more) colleges of your choice. You decided on the best fit for you, and you’re getting ready to make things official. Exciting things are happening!
Now, it’s time to sit down and plan out the finer details about how you’re going to fund this investment in your future.
The first and most important step in this process is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, widely known as the FAFSA. This form provides the most accurate and complete information about your eligibility for multiple types of financial aid. (If you haven’t already started it, here’s some insight why you should do so right away.)
Maybe you’re still working on your FAFSA, or maybe you’ve submitted it and are awaiting the results. Either way, you’re probably eager to see an overview of your financial options, so we encourage you to check out Full Sail University’s Net Price Calculator in the meantime.
What is the Net Price Calculator?
This calculator is a government-standard tool that offers a preliminary look at your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
As explained by CollegeBoard, net price refers to “a college’s sticker price for tuition and fees minus the grants, scholarships, and education tax benefits you receive. The net price you pay for a particular college is specific to you because it’s based on your personal circumstances and the college’s financial aid policies.”
“When you look at the net price instead of the published price,” says the financial planning site, “colleges you thought were out of your reach may turn out to be affordable.”
How does this tool work?
The Net Price Calculator offers variations for students, parents, and educators. As a prospective college student, you’ll begin by providing basic information about yourself — your state of residency, your college start date, your degree/major preferences. If you’re receiving outside scholarships or funding from other sources, you’ll want to provide that as well.
Next, the calculator will ask for your and your parents’ financial info, so try to have those figures on hand. (The questions aren’t as in-depth as the FAFSA, but do remember that more specific answers mean more accurate results.) Other questions deal with topics like household information, dependents, and possible military education benefits. When complete, you’ll be given an overview of your eligibility for multiple kinds of financial aid.
Keep in mind that a net calculator provides estimates, not guaranteed figures. That said, this tool can be helpful in understanding your general financial outlook so you and your family can start planning ahead now.