University Business - March 2011 - (Page 40)

Meeting the The latest on net price calculators and how institutions are stepping up he call for increased Transparency in the college pricing and financial aid arenas is coming from many directions and is ringing louder and more clearly than ever. institutional customers, students and families who have for some time been expecting more information, now want it more quickly and in terms they can understand easily and compare consistently across institutions. colleges and universities have responded with tools such as scholarship calculators and financial aid seminars, as they themselves struggle with the transparency dilemma and the complexities associated with creeping discount rates and increasing prices. and now the federal government has weighed in with its own demands, including a mandate for net price calculators. so how can colleges and universities best position themselves to meet these new demands and help themselves at the same time? The first step is to clearly understand the requirements and options. according to The higher education opportunity act (heoa), which was reauthorized and signed into law in august 2008, the department of education requires institutions to include a net price calculator (npc) on their websites by october 29 of this year. The purpose is “to help current and prospective students, families, and other consumers estimate the individual net price of an institution of higher education for a student.” To make compliance T By Mary Piccioli low-cost and convenient, the U.s. department of education (ed) has made available a npc template. institutions may use either the calculator developed by the ed, develop their own, or use a thirdparty vendor (see “resources” box), as long as they include at least the same data elements found in ed’s template. Unpacking the Calculator The ed template not only provides a no-cost solution to enable colleges and universities to comply with the law, but it also has established a baseline blueprint from which enterprising higher education consulting firms and enrollment services providers can build a better mousetrap (of course, these are at a cost). Understanding the ed template can help institutions decide whether to use the ed template, build their own, or purchase one from an outside vendor. The focus of ed’s template development was to keep it simple and usable for all Title iV institutions, from small proprietary institutions to large public universities. The simplicity is intended to keep the end-user engaged so as to complete all questions and see a result. net price, as defined in the heoa regulation, is the price of attendance minus the average grant/scholarship aid from federal, state, and institutional sources for all first-time, full-time students receiving such aid. 40 | March 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - March 2011

University Business - March 2011
Editor’s Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Sense of Place
Human Resources
Universities and Investment Fraud
Going the Distance
Meeting the Transparent Pricing Mandate
Community Colleges
What’s New
End Note

University Business - March 2011