Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com » Paying for College

College Savings Calculator

college savings calculator

The cost of going to college is expensive, and increasing each year. That’s why it is important that students who are planning to attend college know the costs of going to school, and do their research to figure out what school is the best value for them. One way of doing this type of research is by using a college savings calculator.

With the average price for tuition, room and board at a public school topping $12,200, and private schools averaging $31,233 for the 2008-2009 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, students need to factor in finances when they are attending school. The center said that during the past decade tuition, room and board costs rose 32 percent at public schools and 24 percent at private schools. With costs on the increase, using a college savings calculator will help answer key questions about picking a school that one can afford.

Determining Costs with a College Savings Calculator

The College Board provides a handy college savings calculator at its website, apps.collegeboard.com/fincalc/college_savings.jsp. The college savings calculator allows you to research a number of financial-related questions related to the cost of attending schools. It allows someone to determine the amount of money needed for college, and calculate the amount of money you need to save to attend school. It also allows its user to input multiple scenarios to help them see how different savings plans will work.

The college savings calculator allows the user to enter in an exact cost of school per year or use average figures for public and private 2- and 4-year schools. It also determines an inflation rate. After determining the number of years of attendance, the user can input the percentage of savings they believe they’ll have by the time the student starts school. There are also areas in the calculator to input the number of years until school starts, interest, savings-to-date, and what amount someone is saving per month, if any.

After inputting whatever data the user has, the college savings calculator will determine the answers to all of those questions in an easy-to-read report, along with a graph displaying the amount of savings needed over time, along with inflation-adjusted tuition data. It also gives helpful tips for paying for school, especially if there is a projected shortfall. The three sections: Project Costs, Projected Savings and The Bottom Line will deliver an estimated cost of how much adjustment is needed in the amount of money to be saved to go to school.

Other Information Available About College Savings Calculators

The college savings calculator also gives users a number of options to obtain further information about how to pay for school. This information includes links to sections about scholarships and aid, ways to pay, and loans. There are tools to search for scholarships, compare aid packages at different schools, figure out the net price of going to school, research costs and savings, compare loans and a section on parent debt and repaying it.

Accurate Information From a College Savings Calculator

By using a college savings calculator, students and families can help take some of the guesswork out of paying for school. The calculator includes a listing to most schools in the United States, so getting accurate information on the schools one wants to attend is not difficult. This will also allow students to compare and contrast the different amounts of money needed to pay for different schools, a factor that could ultimately decide where the student eventually ends up attending college. The calculator also includes a feature that allows the user to save individual calculations, so it is possible to reference those at a later date if more schools or more solid information is added to the equation.

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