On April 11, the CFPB unveiled an online tool to help people shop for college. The tool, located at the CFPB web site, allows a person to list expenses for three colleges, side by side. There are places to enter tuition, housing and meal expenses, books and fees, travel and other expenses. Then, there are places to enter financial aid, grants, scholarships and other sources for paying tuition. The tool totals everything up, and even helps calculate a monthly loan payment, with information about how long it will take to pay off the loan.
The really useful part of the service is the comparison the tool makes between the selected colleges and national averages. The new tool is part of the CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe” project. Over the last year, the CFPB has been working with the U.S. Department of Education to create a “Financial Aid Shopping Sheet.” Hundreds of colleges have adopted the sheet, making practical for the CFPB to create the online comparative shopping tool.
Check out the service by clicking here.