The cost of going to college is an issue of growing concern among students, their parents and public officials. Now the State University of New York is introducing a tool to help applicants figure out exactly how much it will cost them to attend.
The entire SUNY system is adopting a standardized financial aid award letter for all of its 64 campuses across New York state. After a student is accepted at a SUNY campus, they will receive a form that will spell out the tuition, fees and various costs, and any grants, scholarships or loans available to that student to attend that university. As SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley says, the idea is to get all the costs and financial aid in one place and make it easier to compare and contrast the costs of different schools.
"Put it all in one place, put it on a standardized form. If they've applied to more than one college and they're getting financial aid letters from each college, they could put those together -- especially SUNY schools -- they can put them together and they can easily assess which is the best situation for them," said Stanley.
SUNY says it is trying to be transparent about the real costs of college, so the form will also include information about graduation rates and loan default rates at a particular university.
"We have understood for quite awhile now that parents and students want to know everything they can about an institution when they're making those all important determinations," said Stanley.
SUNY will start using the standardized information for the 2013-2014 academic year.