Making It Easier to Compare College Costs

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

— by Rohit Chopra, Student Loan Ombudsman, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Getting accepted to college should be cause for celebration, a point of pride for both students and their families. But with so much information to navigate about schools, grants, and loans, financing that education can sometimes be overwhelming.

We want it to be a little less daunting for people to figure out how they’ll pay for college.

Today, we take a big step in that direction with a new prototype Financial Aid Comparison Shopper.

Try it out:

Try the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper

This year, millions of students and families will sift through college acceptances and student loan information. We want to help them make the best college financing choices for themselves.

Our goal is to give parents and students, especially high school seniors, an easy-to-understand view of how their decisions today will impact their debt burdens after graduation. This tool helps users make side-by-side cost comparisons between schools, tailored to their unique financial circumstances and estimated costs of attendance.

This is just our starting point, and we need your help to ensure that the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper addresses the needs of students and their families. Your feedback will directly impact the changes we make before our full launch.

So tell us what you think. Did you learn something? Did you find it useful? If you are already in school or a graduate, would this tool have helped you when deciding which school to attend?

Was the tool easy to navigate? What about it was difficult to understand?

Whether you want to help students and their families understand their financial choices or you want to get a bit of insight into your own family’s choices, we invite you to test the public prototype of our new Financial Aid Comparison Shopper.