Colleges add net price calculators to school prospective students on degree costs

Schools must post cost calculators online by Oct. 29.

Prospective students and their parents will soon have a more customized way of estimating and comparing college costs.

Beginning this fall, colleges and universities that enroll first-time, full time students and receive federal financial aid will be required to post a net price calculator on their websites.

The tool is designed to give current or prospective students and parents an early estimate of their financial aid and a more accurate idea of the cost of attendance at a particular school.

The U.S. Department of Education defines net price as the cost of attendance — including tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies and transportation — for full-time, first-time students, minus total need- and merit-based federal, state and institutional grants awarded.