A Better College Cost Calculator, But Still Imperfect

If you are a student from a low-income or middle class family who dreams about going to an elite college like Harvard or Wellesley, how do you know if you’ll be able to afford it? Those families are likely to pay less than the sticker price, but how much less? According to Economix, Wellesley has taken the steps to help those students and families get a sense of what they might have to pay by putting together a college cost calculator that asks questions like how much equity parents have in their homes, their annual incomes, and the amount of money they have in savings and retirement. The one major flaw: The calculator only shows how much the parents are expected to pay, and not the amount of loans the student may have to take out as part of her aid package, which is kind of the most important part (says someone who took out student loans).