What are net price calculators? Each school has its own variables as to how much they will contribute to funding the gap between the school's cost of attendance and what it deems parents should pay based on their income and assets.
Not every school meets 100% of need, in fact, most do not. To have a better idea, and by law, each school has to offer a net price calculator. That calculator is designed by and will have the considerations for each school. Some net price calculators will request information on the student's academic profile to also provide an expectation of merit scholarships in addition to need grants.
It benefits the school to offer the best net price calculator, so the applicant has the best idea of what they will pay. If a school's net price calculator takes you less than a minute to complete, it is not very accurate.
Know the difference between merit and need-based aid. Every school looks at need grants and merit scholarships differently. Suppose a student wants to be in a popular urban environment or a fun city by the water, typically those schools will offer less in the form of merit scholarships. Schools in the middle or mid-west regions of the country may have to work a little harder to attract students and provide better financial packages. Be sure to expand your list to balance.
If you are a CPC student, you can search the net price calculator for any school or find the link on the stats page in your student's MyCPC account (below). If you are not currently a CPC client, you can search Net Price Calculator on any college website (usually under Financial Aid).
Balance your list before applications go in by running the net price calculator for each school, you might be surprised that the list needs some work.