New tools to find cash for college

SEATTLE — A new tool is available for students and parents to calculate the cost of college!

College costs are on the rise and federal, financial aid forms are notoriously long and confusing. However, many schools have agreed to use a uniform document, the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet to offer families more transparency and understanding about the process.

To go along with that, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has added a tool to its website that allows users to compare financial aid offers.

At the Paying for College section, there’s a tab to Compare Financial Aid offers.

Users can plug in up to three schools, costs for the first year, along with the financial aid offer to calculate their portion of the payment.

Users can also see how much debt they’ll be stuck with after graduation.

For those just starting their college research, check out College Scorecard and College Navigator.

Find other useful information about college costs at the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center.