How can I use The StraighterLine College Savings Calculator to determine my true cost of college?
First, follow the steps in the Calculator until you've completed your "application." Then, you'll receive an "award letter" by email that outlines the federal tuition assistance you may be qualified to receive. (You will also be able to view the award letter from within the Calculator.)
Next, subtract the total assistance from the cost of tuition, room and board at the college or university to which you're applying. This will tell you how much it will cost you to attend that school. (Remember, though, that there are other forms of aid, such as state assistance, scholarships, etc. that may also help you pay for college that are not included here.)
I don't know where I want to go to college yet. Are there average costs I can use?
Yes. The College Board estimates the costs for colleges and universities each year, although because room and board fees can vary significantly, they do not include those fees in the estimate. For the school year 2010-2011, the estimated average costs for tuition and fees are:
|Public 2-year (community college)
|Public 4-year (in-state)
|Public 4-year (out-of-state)
|Private For-Profit 4-year
|Private Not-For-Profit 4-year
The Calculator says I'm starting an application. Am I actually applying for financial aid?
No. The Calculator estimates the federal tuition assistance you may be qualified to receive. You must still fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the U.S. Dept. of Education.
What types of colleges or universities does the Calculator cover?
Public 2-year (community college), Public 4-year (in-state), Public 4-year (out-of-state), Private For-Profit 4-year, and Private Not-For-Profit 4-year institutions.
Is there a limit to how many times I can use the Calculator or which kinds of schools I check out?
Yes. There is a limit. Once you've applied for a specific set of criteria (i.e., institution, location and program of study) and the application status is marked "Processed," you can no longer explore that configuration with different data, for instance, using a different Household Income or changing your "Grade Level in College" to estimate the differences between freshman year and junior year. For that reason, do not complete an application until you are sure it has the information you want to use.
I'm not sure what my Household Income is. What do I do?
You'll have to know it eventually, when you actually apply for financial aid, but for the purposes of the Calculator, just fill in your best guess.
What's the difference between choosing On Campus and Online Campus Locations?
The financial assistance award may vary. Surprisingly, some schools that offer both options charge more for the online option than the on campus option; for others, it's the other way around.
What happens to the personal information I put into the Calculator?
What kind of college is StraighterLine, and how do I figure out what it costs?
StraighterLine is not a college. We offer required college courses online that can be transferred for credit to colleges and universities. And as for costs, StraighterLine offers three pricing plans: Freshman Year for $999 for 10 courses, College for $99 a month plus a 1 time fee of $39 per course, or individual courses for $399 each.
Does StraighterLine accept federal tuition assistance?
Because StraighterLine is so affordable, we do not accept federal tuition assistance of any kind.
So how does StraighterLine offer Freshman Year for only $999?
Because StraighterLine isn't a college or university. We're only about the courses, and nothing but the courses... along with course advisors who will help you with transferring college credits to our partner colleges and other ACE participating colleges and universities. We don't have a campus. We don't have an athletics program. No marching bands and student unions. What we do have are required college courses at incredibly low costs that are guaranteed to transfer for credit to our partner colleges.
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