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New College Calculator Helps Students Select a School

The program enables the user to do side-by-side comparisons of any three Indiana colleges at one time.

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Photo: Ben Skirvin/WFIU

A new online tool will help students to compare the cost of attending universities in Indiana.

The National Center for College Costs has developed a new online calculator that attempts to determine how much the total cost of college will be for a student. President Dave Murray said the program enables the user to do side-by-side comparisons of any three Indiana colleges at one time, factoring in different data that universities provide to the state.

“You can get profiles of all the Indiana colleges on there,” said Murray. “You can get insights on investing for families that have younger kids and want to save for college. It takes all the major college savings vehicles and shows you how they’re treated under the tax code and in another column how they’re treated under the financial formula, which in many cases is very different. The incentives are different.”

The tool takes into account options for grants and honors programs specific to each college or university. Indiana University Spokesman Larry MacIntyre said the tool could be beneficial to IU, if students are considering attending school in Bloomington.

“It can give a family a very precise idea of how much out-of –pocket money they would have to come up with to send their student to college,” MacIntyre said.

The resource is free to students and families in Indiana. The National Center for College Costs is currently working on gathering data in other states.

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