College Cost Calculator

College Cost Calculator

What is the uAspire College Cost Calculator? 

uAspire’s College Cost Calculator is a free online tool that helps you compare multiple financial aid offers and calculate the total cost of attending different colleges. With the Calculator, you learn about the financial aid process, build self-advocacy skills, and increase financial literacy. 

Why did we create the Cost Calculator?

Financial aid offers, also called award letters or financial aid packages, can be very difficult to decipher. There’s no industry or government standard for colleges to communicate costs consistently or transparently to students. Different colleges use different formatting and jargon for the same types of aid or loans and the information they include varies. Some don’t clearly label student loans and often omit details about the total cost, making it a challenge for students to figure out how much they will have to pay. As a result, it is exceedingly difficult for students and families to make an informed financial decision.

We believe students deserve to be able to better navigate the process of financing college, especially when leveraging their futures with loans to pay for a college degree. College-goers should be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons between schools easily, instead of having to decipher the information from a hodgepodge of offers. This is why we developed the uAspire College Cost Calculator and are providing students direct, free access to a decoding device for better decision-making about college. 

Who can use the Calculator?

ANYONE. uAspire’s College Cost Calculator is available for general use, for free. The mobile version is easy to use, like the desktop version, making it accessible for those without reliable internet access. 

The calculator is also intended as a free resource for school counselors and financial aid officers to share with their students. High schools and colleges can begin sharing the Calculator with their students immediately.

What are the benefits of using uAspire’s Calculator?

The Calculator empowers students to know and compare the full costs of attending multiple colleges in order to make more informed decisions about where to go to college and how to pay for it while minimizing student debt. The Calculator was developed to:

  • Help text, images guide students to find and enter info
  • Data validation reduces entry mistakes 
  • Summary report compares aid, estimated bill, loan projection for each school
  • Student accounts can be accessed, updated, shared anytime from any device
  • Financial terms dictionary, tips, next steps, and links to resources

Why do we ask you to create an account?

By creating an account, save and share a one-page summary that compares the aid offer, estimated bill for the upcoming year, and a 4-year loan projection for each school. The report can be downloaded to a PDF and translated to Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

You can also save your information, come back to it at a later date, and add more schools to compare as you receive additional financial aid offers. 

Check out their college cost calculator here.

Basic Needs: Student Navigator Network

Basic Needs: Student Navigator Network

Basic Needs: Student Navigator Network 

The Student Navigator Network (SNN) was a system designed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that aimed to assist students with resources to pursue higher education. The Student Navigator program is largely run by Rise, a non-profit that addresses the challenges students face at college. Rise helps students apply for emergency financial assistance, find community support systems, learn their public health benefits and receive updates on policies, programs, and resources. The Student Navigator Network largely serves college students in higher education either at trade school or at community colleges in Los Angeles County. However, the LA cohort-based out of USC is willing to connect all California’s college students to resources. Resources include financial, academic, and personal assistance. This aims to help bridge the gap between students and the higher education system by offering resources needed to assist these institutions.  

The Student Navigator Network has served over 7,000 students. They helped students receive at least $897,875 in financial assistance. The Student Navigator Network works on a three-tier strategy at a micro, mezzo, and macro level. The micro-level aims to work with individual students in the form of outreach and advocacy. Partners aim to provide students with emotional support, encouragement and help students create a timeline to accomplish their goals. The mezzo scale aims to have practitioners work with institutions and communities to make a difference in students’ lives like identifying and improving campus resources and collaborating with community and government programs. The marco level has practitioners work on large-scale advocacy programs on all government levels to address the inequity in public education institutions. 

For more information regarding the SNN and to help you find emergency financial aid, apply for public benefits, and connect with local resources visit this link: Our Student Navigator Network

If you are a student seeking to start your own Student Navigator Network on your campus submit this interest form: Student Navigator Network Form

The Student Navigator Network is an excellent opportunity for students who are looking for resources to guide them throughout their college experience. The Student Navigator Network is met to aid and assist students throughout their college journey. The hope is that this program can help diminish the stigma students feel when asking for help and bridge the gap of inequity in the higher education system.