College Cost Calculators

Background

Penn State currently has three different interactive college cost calculators available to the general public. These include the tuition cost calculator, college cost calculator, and the net price calculator.

The net price calculator is mandated by the federal government for use by first-time, full-time undergraduate domestic prospective students.

Issue

PeopleSoft Campus Solutions does not offer a configurable cost calculator as a deliverable. In addition, Campus Solutions does not store data in a format that readily enables the creation of a calculator comparable with what Penn State currently offers.

Decision

The Office of Student Aid will use the Department of Education’s free “Net Price Calculator” template and customize its use for first-time, full-time domestic undergraduate prospective Penn State students. This will meet the federal department regulatory requirement in the most time and resource efficient, cost effective manner, since resources for the development of this application are not available in the Office of Student Aid.

It is recommended that development of a personalized, interactive college cost calculator be tabled until after the LionPATH implementation is fully launched, when resources may be easier to identify for the development of this application.