Questioning the Calculations: Are Colleges Complying With Federal and Ethical Mandates for Providing Students With Estimated Costs?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019: 2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Northern Hemisphere E 1/2 (Walt Disney World Dolphin)

Session Type: Interest Sessions
Track: Research & Data Analysis Track
Audience: All
Credit Type: Credit Hours and Clock Hours
School Type: All Schools
With the goal of enabling prospective students to receive personalized estimates of college costs early in the college-going process, the federal government mandated that colleges and universities must provide a net price calculator (NPC) on their websites. This session presents the results of an analysis of calculations generated for four hypothetical low-income student profiles at 80 public and private, not-for-profit four-year institutions and identifies characteristics of NPCs that produce misleading and incomplete information about costs. As students and their families may use NPCs to help identify colleges that they can afford to attend, the results have important implications.
Charlotte Etier (NASFAA)
Jeremy Wright-Kim (University of Pennsylvania)
Ms. Laura Perna (University of Pennsylvania)