Kristine Schaffer is the Enrollment Research Specialist at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she analyzes and reports on topics related to admissions, retention, and financial aid. Kristine is the editor of and contributing author to The College Affordabilty Academy®: A Blueprint for Counseling Families, a book written by enrollment management professionals that provides unbiased information about enrolling in and paying for college for those who advise prospective and current students and their families. Kristine earned her bachelor in communication and rhetoric and her master of business administration degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.
What is the Net Price?
Just as each person on an airplane pays a different price for their ticket, students sitting in a lecture hall on a college campus may pay a different price for their education. Each student pays their own net price, which is a discounted sticker price. Knowing how the net price is calculated is crucial to understanding college pricing and what your student will pay for their college education.
Cost of Attendance
A college’s annual cost of attendance, also known as the sticker price, includes tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies and equipment, transportation and miscellaneous personal expenses. The cost of attendance may also include dependent care costs and special needs expenses.
College Savings Plans Increase College-Going Rates
Opening a college savings plan is one of the best ways of increasing the odds that a child will go to college. Research has shown that even a small college savings plan statistically improves college-going rates no matter the level of household income.
Differences between Children’s Savings Accounts and 529 Plans
Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) and 529 college savings plans both help families save for a child’s college education. While any amount of college savings is better than none, there are several key differences between these two types of college savings accounts. These differences affect how the account is opened, how funds grow and how the money may be spent when college bills are due.