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How Can I Estimate My College Costs Before Getting Financial Aid?

Concerned about your college costs long before you have access to the FAFSA? Don't worry! Our experts have some suggestions for approximating the numbers.

CX experts generic image The Carnegie Financial Aid Experts
Financial Aid Optimization Team
Carnegie Higher Education
Once colleges provide financial aid packages to admitted students, you’ll receive detailed information about anticipated costs for attendance at each institution of interest for your year of enrollment and different types of aid, including loans. If you’re trying to get ahead of the game, while you’re waiting for that information, you can look at each institution’s website for the estimated cost of attendance. Some colleges and universities may not have published the current year’s costs yet, but there’s a good chance that they’ll be similar to the year prior, which will be published on the institution’s website—just add a typical annual cost increase of about 2%–5%. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it will get you most of the way to your expected college costs and start calculating your anticipated loans and scholarship needs.  

You’ll need fewer student loans if you win more free money for college. Try using our Scholarship Search tool to find award opportunities!

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