A new online app called College Abacus is making it easier for students and their families to get estimates in advance of how much financial aid colleges and universities will give so that they can compare schools for costs, The East Carolinian reports.

It comes at an opportune time, since the shutdown of many government programs because of the political standoff over the federal budget has disabled College Navigator, a tool also designed to help families figure out college costs and operated by the Department of Education.

Until about two years ago, financial aid was a mystery until a student got a...

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