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Calculator to assist students

By Staff | May 6, 2011

Shepherd University and 12 other West Virginia public colleges and universities will implement online net price calculators, or NPC, that will estimate merit and need-based aid for prospective college students before they apply to the colleges.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires the nation’s 6,800 post-secondary institutions that receive Title IV federal student aid funds to post an NPC on their websites by Oct. 29, 2011. Net price is an individual’s estimated education cost after subtracting the merit and need-based federal, state and institutional grants, which a student is eligible to receive, from a college’s published cost of attendance, an amount also referred to as “sticker price.”

Student Aid Services, the nation’s leading provider of net price calculators, won a contract to provide the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education with supported advanced calculators customized for the public colleges.

Student Aid Services currently serves 294 client campuses nationwide. Its NPC technology provides much more personalized, accurate cost information to students and their families than the minimum requirements of federal NPC mandate.

An NPC tailored for each college’s financial aid policies will be available on each institution’s website by this summer. Thirteen public West Virginia colleges will be among the first in the nation to calculate Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for veterans and current service members.

All NPCs offered through the WVHEPC and the CTC Council initiative will calculate all merit and need-based student aid available at institutions including the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship, the Higher Education Grant, the Underwood-Smith Teachers’ Scholarship, all nine federal programs, the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program military education benefits and each institution’s grants, scholarships and work-study student aid.