Understanding College Costs

Q: “College costs” is just tuition, right?

A: Actually, no. Tuition is only part of your college costs. Tuition pays for your place in a classroom or online course. It might be charged by credit hour, by class or by semester.

Q: I know what my school charges for tuition. But how do I figure out the rest?

A: Try your school’s website. Start in the Financial Aid Section, and look for something called a “calculator” or “estimator.” You’ll enter some information about yourself, your family and your finances, and the site will estimate your total cost of attendance. (Some sites will also estimate the amount of aid you might receive.) Remember: These are only estimates. Your award letter will show real numbers.

You can also find many of these calculators through our directory of Iowa colleges and universities or through the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard.


Printed from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission website on March 22, 2018 at 10:43am.