Students Can Compare Differences, Calculate Net Costs and Estimate Total Cost of College Education Online
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new tool that will help students and families interpret financial aid award letters from colleges and get bottom line costs before making a final decision. The Financial Aid Award Letter Comparison Tool, available at HESC.ny.gov, is free and safe to use, with no personal data collected or saved.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for New York college students with another tool they can utilize to make the best financial decision possible when it comes to educational future and college financial aid,” said Senator Joe Robach in support of this new educational online tool. “In addition to this new website, I’m pleased to announce that I will be hosting two financial aid forums to help those seeking information about what kind of financial aid is available and how to apply for it.”
For many families it can be difficult to choose the best college at an affordable price, especially without a full understanding of the total costs—including which types of aid must be paid back. The tool generates side-by-side comparisons, highlights net costs, and estimates the full two or four-year cost of each college.
The report also recommends the potential income required after graduation, based on an occupation chosen by the user, to be able to pay back student loans. This feature not only helps students and their families understand the impact of borrowing as it relates to current and future circumstances, but encourages students to carefully consider their field of study and make adjustments in career or college choices if necessary. To make these projections, the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) uses current data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to provide median salary estimates for selected occupations.