What does it really cost to attend college? To get the answer, subtract aid that doesn't have to be repaid, such as merit and need-based grants, and any tuition discount the school is giving you. Or, use a net price calculator.
The federal government is requiring all colleges (post-secondary institutions which receive federal funding and have first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students including public, private nonprofit and for-profit schools) to have a calculator on their web sites by October 29, 2011 and has developed a free tool for colleges to use. The tool is free, simple to set-up and once implemented looks good on the college site. There are some drawbacks -- because it's a one-size-fits-all schools, work study and loans are not included. If you want a truly customizable product here are some options, but they'll cost you -- average price is $5000.