Understanding the Cost of College

For many prospective students and families, it can be difficult to understand the full costs of attending and completing a post-secondary degree program.

To make those costs more transparent, the federal government requires all colleges participating in federal student aid programs to post a net price calculator (NPC) on their official website.

A recent study, however, finds that NPCs can provide incomplete, outdated or even misleading information to prospective students.

Study co-author and Penn AHEAD executive director Laura Perna joins CPRE Executive Director Jonathan Supovitz to discuss her team’s findings and some important implications for higher education policymakers and college officials.