College Affordability and Transparency Center

Use these five tools to learn how much it will cost you to attend different colleges, how fast costs are going up, and why costs are going up.  The U.S. Department of Education provides a Transparency Center where you can get information about tuition and net prices at public and private colleges and universities.

There’s a net price calculator to estimate the true costs for attending a college, a navigator to compare colleges you are considering by cost and other criteria, and state spending charts to see how states are changing funding to their colleges and universities.

Sallie Mae Financial College Planner Tools

Sallie Mae offers several tools to help students and parents plan for how to save and pay for college. Free registration is required to use many of the tools. They include:

  • A Scholarship Search Database – matching your skills, activities and interests, with email alerts for matches.
  • A College Planning Calculator – customized to your situation, that includes savings, scholarships, grants, and loans.
  • A Student Loan Amount Estimator – estimating monthly payments for both current and future loans.
  • An Accrued Interest Calculator – comparing the total loan cost with interest for “pay as you go” vs. deferred payment plans.
  • A College Cost Calculator – based on numbers of years attending, and assuming 5% annual cost increase.
  • A Future Savings Calculator – based on monthly savings and number of years before starting college.
  • A Planning Date Checklist – to make sure you don’t miss important deadlines.

From site:

At Sallie Mae, we’re proud to have helped more than 30 million Americans save, plan, and pay for the education that can offer them that key. It’s a responsibility that we do not take lightly. In our 40 years we have developed responsible education loans and innovative programs to help families start saving for college.


From site:  Once you join Upromise®, nearly everything you buy or do can mean more money for college in your Upromise account. Check out all these great program options. Remember: the more you do, the more you can get back. You?ll be able to watch your Upromise account accumulate daily with all your eligible purchases.

All your earnings are automatically saved securely into your Upromise account. Then, you decide if you’d like the potential to grow them tax-free in a 529 plan [1] to pay for college, use them to pay down a Sallie Mae student loan, or receive a check for college expenses.

Unigo Scholarship Search

Unigo’s Scholarship Directory lists over 3.5 million scholarships, some of which are provided by Unigo itself. Free registration is required. You answer a series of questions to get a personalized list of scholarships for which you are most likely to be eligible.

BigFuture Financial Aid & Scholarship Search

The site offers several research tools and advice for students looking for money to pay for college. The tools include:

  • An outline of the three most important steps to getting financial aid.
  • A video gallery of advice from students, financial aid experts, and college and high school advisors. They provide their insights about paying for college.
  • A net price calculator to help you focus on the actual cost of attending a college vs. the “sticker price”.
  • A searchable college scholarship database.
  • A breakdown of the types of college loans.

From site: 

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.