College Cost Comparison Tool
Instructions provided for those who want to optimize results
1. Gather accurate cost information for each school.  Don't guess or assume.  Possible sources for this information are:
Award letter
Supplemental information sent with award letter
School publications
School website
2. Enter the school names at the top of the worksheet.  You can enter up to 4 schools in each tab.
3. Cost of Attendance
Enter tuition, fees, room and board for each school for the academic year into the billed cost section.
  Enter your estimates of other academic year costs for each school.  For transportation, calculate the cost of a round trip from home to campus and multiply by the number of round trips expected.  Consult the school's academic calendar for the number of breaks during the year.
4. Award Package
Enter your financial aid from your award letter in the applicable category (grants/scholarships, work or loan).
  Do not enter Federal PLUS Loan or "Estimated" Federal PLUS Loan in the Student Loan section.  Federal PLUS Loans are parent loans.
  If you've won private scholarships, have you notified the school?  Do you know how or if your school award will change?  Make sure that's reflected on the worksheet.
5. Compare your awards
Compare the percent of total costs covered by grants/scholarships, work, loan and family for each school.
How much will you need to borrow in student loans?  
If work-study is included in your award package, how many hours will you need to work to earn the awarded amount?  Is that realistic?
If not, revise the work-study award amount in your package to reflect the amount you expect to be able to earn.
Compare how much of your expected billed costs financial aid will cover and how much will you have to pay the school.
To submit your analysis for review, click on "submit" at the top or bottom of any page.  Thanks.
If you have more than four colleges to compare, come back and do another sheet.
Understanding Your Financial Aid Package & Net Cost
Student Name    
SFC Advisor Name    
Today's Date    
Enter names of colleges on this line ----------->
Direct Costs - From College Award Letter
Required Fees
Meal Plan
Other Billable Expenses
Total Direct Costs
Indirect Costs        
Total Indirect Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarship Package
Grants and Scholarships (Gift Aid)
Federal Pell Grant
State Grant
Institutional Grant (Need-Based)
Institutional Scholarship (Merit Based)
Outside Grants/Scholarships
Other Grants/Scholarships Not Listed Above
Total Grants and Scholarships
Work-Study (Self-Help)        
Federal Work-Study
Institutional Work-Study
Total Work-Study
Student Loans (Self-Help)        
Federal Stafford/Subsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Stafford/Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Perkins Loan
Institutional Loan
Private Student Loan (not parent PLUS)
Total Student Loans
   Net Cost (COA - Gift Aid)
   Out of pocket cost (COA-Gift Aid-St Loans)
Summary Statistics & Decision Guidance
Package Summary
Total Gift Aid
Total Work-Study
Total Student Loans
Typle of Aid as % of Aid Package        
Percent Gift Aid
Percent Work Study
Percent Student Loans
Aid Available for Direct Cost        
Total Direct Cost
Minus Gift Aid
Minus Student Loans
Balance Due For This College