The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires institutions to "develop a net price calculator to help current and prospective students, families, and other consumers estimate the individual net price of an institution of higher education for a student."
What exactly is required?
Your institution can choose from three options when developing your Net Price Calculator:
- Use the federal template
- Develop your own customized NPC
- Outsource the development of your NPC to a third party, such as AidCalc
No matter which of these options you choose, the following input and output elements must be included in your NPC:
"Data elements to approximate the student's Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), such as income, number in family, and dependency status or factors that estimate dependency status." Either Federal Methodology or Institutional Methodology may be used.
Source: The National Center for Education Statistics.
The calculator may also contain input elements such as high school GPA and standardized test scores that an institution uses to determine eligibility for non-need-based aid.
An AidCalc NPC asks the minimum number of questions necessary for full, accurate calculation of Federal and (if applicable) Institutional EFC. We can also include as many custom questions as are required to determine eligibility for scholarships and grants based on academic merit or other factors not included in EFC calculation.
Estimated Cost of Attendance Elements, including at minimum:
- Tuition and fees
- Room and board (living on campus, off campus, or with parents)
- Books and supplies
- Other expenses (including personal expenses and transportation)
This means that both direct, known costs charged by the institution and indirect, estimated costs determined by the individual student must be included in the net price. An AidCalc NPC can help your students distinguish between these different types of costs.
Estimated total grant aid, including both need-based and merit-based aid. AidCalc can work with your institution to provide the most accurate possible estimation.
Estimated Net Price
This means that Direct Loans, Federal Work-Study, Veterans' benefits and other self-help aid included in your financial aid packages may not be considered part of net price. However, AidCalc NPCs give additional results including these awards, to more accurately reflect the affordability of your institution.
Other Output Information
The calculator output is also required to include certain disclaimers, and the percentage of first-time full-time undergraduate students who received grant aid.