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College Planning Tools

Free tools, calculators and resources to help students and parents plan to pay for college.

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Tools for Students

Icon: Student Loan Game Plan

Student Loan Game Plan

Calculate student loan payments based on your expected starting salary and learn how to reduce college debt and make a plan to pay for college.

Icon: College Funding Forecaster

College Funding Forecaster

Use a college financial aid award package to estimate total college expenses over four years.

Icon: Return on College Investment (ROCI)

Return on College Investment

Learn how the potential return on your college investment is affected by your choice of college major.

Icon: Grad Degree Gauge

Grad Degree Gauge

Make an informed decision on your ability to pay for new college debt taken to obtain a graduate degree.

Tools for Parents

Icon: Student Loan Game Plan

Student Loan Game Plan

Use this tool for parents and cosigners to help your student reduce college debt and make a plan to pay for college.

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Icon: Parent Handbook

Parent Handbook

Plan for college or other post-high school options for your sixth- through 12th-grade students.

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Help your student prepare for college with these Parent Handbook tips.

Tools for Everyone


Calculators

Use our student loan payment calculator and budget calculators to make and stick to a budget.

In-School Budget Calculator

Use your monthly income and expenses to see where your money goes.

Monthly Budget Calculator

Use your income and either estimated or actual expenses.

Student Loan Payment Calculator

See how much your monthly student loan payment will be.

Teacher at whiteboard

Tools for Educators

Middle School Financial Literacy Curriculum

Use this curriculum to help middle school students begin to plan for and pay for college and think smart about their money.

Student Loan Game Plan Curriculum Guide

Use this flexible set (PDF) of discussion questions and topics to build a lesson or set of lessons related to the concepts in Student Loan Game Plan.

ROCI Reality Check Curriculum Guide

Use this flexible set (PDF) of discussion questions and topics to build a lesson or set of lessons related to the concepts in the Return on College Investment Reality Check.

Fast Facts and Tips

How Much to Save for College

Using student loan payment calculators, budgets and money-saving techniques to figure out how to pay for college. Use these tips as you consider how much to save for college. Continue reading article.

Prepare Financially for College Life

The need to budget a limited income is challenging for many students heading off to college for the first time. Use these tips as consider the financial aid package, spending and college expenses. Continue reading article.

Understanding Cost of Attendance

As you plan to pay for college, the various costs of attending can be confusing. Make sure you understand cost of attendance and how it compares to information shown in the award letter. Continue reading article.

Deciding on a Grad Degree

The Grad Degree Gauge helps students make informed decisions about their borrowing levels and their ability to successfully repay new student loan debt when considering the pursuit of an advanced degree. Continue reading article.

Forecast Total College Costs

Using only a first year college financial aid award letter to decide on how to pay for college is like ordering a full meal at a restaurant only knowing the cost of the first course. The College Funding Forecaster is a free online tool designed to help borrowers make good decisions about using student loans to pay for college. Continue reading article.

Student Loan Basics: What Parents and Cosigners Need to Know

If a student in your life did not receive enough financial aid to pay for college, he or she may turn to you for financial help. If you are considering taking on a federal parent loan or cosigning a private student loan with your student, consider these important points. Continue reading article.