When faced with financial decisions about college, families are thrilled to find government cost calculators on school websites. After investing tons of time to explore school options, students’ financial ‘research’ should be easily-obtained and accurate; what most families don’t realize, however, is that government-issued calculators accomplish neither of these objectives.
Parents with college-bound students have enough to worry about beyond the realm of cost and financial aid. Net Price Calculators, then, should be a beneficial resource to these families and serve to simplify the application process. While custom calculators accomplish this objective (I’ll get to that in a second), government price predictions are flawed and outdated.
“The formula is so unrealistic and so old—it’s loosely based on a family budget from 1967,” claims Kim Clark from U.S. News. Because of “outdated budget estimates, [the lack of] regional adjustments and unrealistic family spending assumptions”, the default (i.e. government) cost calculators on most schools’ websites are, essentially, null and void.
The silver lining does exist, however, in the world of custom Net Price Calculators. Besides a completely personalized look and feel designed to mimic the image of your institution, custom calculators—specifically, ones created by The Whelan Group—also include a customizable scholarship matrix built into the structure. This school-specific system doesn’t stop at personalization and accuracy: Integrated contact fields serve as an easy lead-generator and data from all users is recorded into a single Admin System.
On both ends of the spectrum—admissions personnel versus applicants—custom Net Price Calculators are undoubtedly a very bright option. Their ease-of-use and accuracy trump government-issued calculators, and the custom design provides a look that is consistent with the rest of a school’s marketing campaign.