The calculators varied significantly among institutions, which could make it difficult for students and parents to find, use and understand them, the report states.

Caution advised

People should use caution when comparing prices at different schools, said Matt Hamilton, vice president for enrollment and student financial services and registrar at the University of Oklahoma.

He said OU plans to have its calculator available for use by mid-August.

Hamilton said many students and parents don’t fully understand the cost of a college education.

He said the calculator is a tool that can help people plan and budget.

The net cost calculator provides an estimate, not a guarantee, said Susan Prater, director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Central Oklahoma.

She said students and parents should still fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and contact their school’s financial aid office.

Officials at UCO hope to have their calculator posted online by the end of the summer, Prater said.

Oklahoma State University’s head of its net calculator was not available this week.

To see more of The Oklahoman, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.newsok.com. Copyright (c) 2011, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


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