A Net Price Calculator Fit For A Princess

“Officials at many colleges have come to see the net-price calculator as something that could make a big difference in their admissions outcomes, rather than a routine matter of compliance.” (Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education)

There’s no doubt that newly mandated college calculators are a valuable resource to students searching for the school with the “glass slipper fit”. A new idea, however, suggests that these nifty number-pluggers are more than just a calculation tool but an extension of the school’s brand itself.

Why, then, would it be valuable for schools to invest in a generic calculator—one kin to calculators featured on competitors’ websites?

Federal-issued calculators are bone dry on the customization level. Clients who choose to invest in calculators developed by mainstream companies—such as College Board—will just have the “custom features” of their website’s design plugged into an even bigger calculator (one yielding the same ‘answer’ for all of its clients in terms of web design).

When it comes to customization (i.e. incorporating custom financial information and branding into a completely unique net price calculator), federal and highly commercialized calculators are the evil stepsisters chasing that glass slipper.

To experience the functionality and customization that The Whelan Group’s Net Price Calculators offers, read more and then schedule a demo.

Clients looking to develop a calculator through TWG can do so at a discounted price before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.

For questions or details, contact us.

Reach More Prospects’ Families

With college costs rising during an unstable economic recovery, many Americans are reconsidering the value of higher education – or, lack thereof.

In a recent survey, 63.5% of people agreed “a college education is still a good financial investment for young adults given rising costs.” While this statistic is promising for the majority of high school students (and the colleges seeking them), 36.5% of families remain unconvinced.

In general, “graduates [are] likely to earn $1 million more in their lifetime than non-grads,” claims Keith Brannan, Vice President of Financial Security Planning for COUNTRY Financial. With countless benefits and undeniable career preparation, why doesn’t everyone have higher education at the top of their priority lists?

Many adults find college funding competing against retirement funding, with 52.5% of families prioritizing retirement over their child’s education. However, if monetary setbacks are the only constraint, then schools have no excuse for dwindling applicant numbers.

If universities develop convincing marketing campaigns, pushing financial aid and scholarship information, they will undoubtedly catch the attention of skeptics. With college cost serving as one of the biggest deal-breakers to potential students (if not, the biggest), it is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed, not ignored.

Through unique solutions, such as customized cost calculators and other financial aid marketing, schools can expect a much clearer communication path to those 36.5% of unconvinced families.

For more information about creative higher education marketing, and Net Price Calculators, please contact us.

Source: Emmeline Zhao, The Wall Street Journal

Higher Ed Bullying Students

Like a fight on the playground, low-income students are being bullied by the higher ed institutions they long to fit in with – and no one is doing anything to stop it.

After talking personally with these students, Gary Berg has gleaned both qualitative and quantitative proof that demonstrates “how students from poor families are shortchanged at every stage of their postsecondary education, from admissions practices that discriminate against them, to the numerous obstacles they face getting through college, to the lesser benefits they reap after graduation.”

Aside from the cost of college and lack of financial resources these universities supply, the needs of admitted, low-income students are still being ignored inside the walls of the classroom.

Problems such as reading and writing at a collegiate level, along with a different “frame of reference and context for [learning] various subjects that are common knowledge to more affluent students”, prove to be challenging barriers prohibiting a fair learning environment.

Berg suggests two things colleges can do to better the enrollment for, and retention of, low-income students:

  1. Change the format of education to accommodate working students:
    “[Appreciate] the particular challenges economically disadvantaged students face… Although colleges have adapted somewhat to students who work, they are still often extremely resistant to meeting the demands of this group.”
  2. Pay attention to the practical and emotional barriers to college attendance low-income students face:
    “First-generation college students often also confront a greater adjustment problem in college.”

With higher education ignoring “students who… stand to gain the most from it”, schools are only hurting their reputation and falling short of their promise as an institution of secondary education (“to improve the country’s record on degree attainment”).

From the outside looking in, it’s easy to see that there are simple solutions to solve these problems. Without intervening, however, these issues risk being ignored entirely – or stuffed into a trashcan, or shoved into a locker, or… Well, you get the idea.

Read more about Berg’s higher ed recommendations.