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Financial Aid Comparison Tool (FACT)

In order to make an informed decision and ensure that your college selection is both a good academic and financial fit, MassEdCO has created this Financial Aid Comparison Tool (FACT). It’s designed to help you more readily compare your college choices from a financial perspective. If you have questions about specific financial aid you should contact that college’s financial aid office.

Your Estimated Cost of Attendance 2024-2025 (full time for a year)

Tuition and fees as well as on-campus housing and meals are considered direct costs and are typically billed by the college twice a year. Books and supplies, transportation and other educational costs are typically considered indirect costs which mean costs that you’ll probably incur but are not billed by the college. ‘Other education costs’ may include health insurance and other miscellaneous items. If you can show proof that you are already covered by a health insurance plan, the college will remove that charge from your bill.

Grants, Scholarships and Waivers

Student aid funds that do not have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are often merit-based.

Net Cost

An estimate of the actual costs that you or your family will need to pay during the 2024-2025 academic year. Net Costs are determined by taking the total cost of attendance and subtracting all grants, scholarships and waivers

Options to Pay the Net Cost

Loans are monies that will need to be paid back over time. Finance experts are recommending that students try to limit total borrowing (which includes undergraduate and graduate school loans) so that monthly payments are no more than 10-12% of your future take home monthly pay. For information on how much specific jobs pay and what monthly loan payments might be, see links below.

Some colleges will add a parent PLUS loan to a financial aid package. Students and families should be aware that this loan does require a credit check. Therefore, not all students and families who are offered a parent PLUS loan will actually qualify. Learn more about parent PLUS loans...

Balance / What is Left for You to Pay Net Cost

This is the amount that you and your family still need to pay your Net Cost.

Work Option

Please note that Work Study monies need to be earned during the course of the semester. Most students will use these monies for small, miscellaneous expenses.

Financial Aid Comparison Tool

Sample College
Your Estimated Cost of Attendance
Tuition and fees $10,160
Housing and meals $12,000
Books and supplies $1,240
Transportation $1,160
Other education costs $2,120
TOTAL $26,680
Grants, Scholarships and Waivers
Grants, scholarships and waivers from the college $4,000
Federal Pell Grant $2,800
Other Federal grants -
Grants and scholarships from your state $2,800
Other scholarships -
TOTAL $9,600
NET COST $17,080
Options to pay the Net Cost
Student Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $3,500
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $2,000
Other Federal or State Loans -
Options to pay the Net Cost
Parent and other loans requiring a credit check
Parent PLUS Loan -
Other loans -
Work option
Work-Study $2,300
College's Graduation Rate 62%