What are Net Price Calculators?

2 little kids researching net price calculators

What does it mean? Colleges provide Net Price Calculators (NPC) so that students can estimate their cost of attendance based on their financial status. Colleges are required to provide an estimate based on the what other students have paid with similar financial situations. The cost includes deducting any need-based grant aid that the student is… Continue reading


What is need-blind admission?

2 little kids looking up what is need blind admissions

What does it mean? Need-blind admissions means that a colleges does not take into consideration students’ financial aid status when making admission decisions. This is the opposite of need-aware admissions where a college does consider students’ financial need as part of the admission process. For most private colleges, this isn’t an either or situation. Often,… Continue reading


41 Most Expensive Public Colleges for Low-Income Students

hands holding pennies with note saying college fund representing most expensive public colleges for low income students

Most low income students shouldn’t count on financial aid to pay completely for college. The number of colleges in the country that meet 100% of financial need is less than 100. Out of over 1,500 four-year institutions with 500 or more full-time undergraduates, only around 5% will meet 100% of financial need. And these are… Continue reading


What is the Common Data Set?

2 little kids researching the common data set

What does it mean? The Common Data Set refers to data collected by a group of publishers including US News Best College Rankings, The College Board, Petersons, and Wintergreen Orchard. The data includes information that is not part of government data including percentage of students receiving merit aid and the percentage of students that have… Continue reading


The Very Short List of Colleges that Meet 100% of Need

college student holding money representing colleges that meet 100% of need

As families start to encounter sticker prices during their college search, they are often revived from their state of shock by soothing voices whispering, “it’s ok, it doesn’t include financial aid.” Students and their parents learn the conventional wisdom that hardly anyone pays full price at private colleges. While true, unfortunately this is when too… Continue reading