Skip to main content

College Planning Tools

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

Confused by the Financial Aid Offered by Your College?

Let us help you make sense of it with our free College Financing Information Kit. Order your free copy now to receive information about financial aid, options to pay outstanding college costs and ways to reduce the need to borrow.

Tools for Students

Student Loan Game Plan

Calculate student loan payments based on your expected starting salary and see how your borrowing choices affect your future budget.

College Funding Forecaster

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

Return on College Investment

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

Grad Degree Gauge

See the questions to ask and the resources to explore to gauge whether a grad degree is right for you.

Tools for Parents

SP3 – Student Planning Pointers for Parents

Sign up for free, twice-monthly tips and tools to help your eighth- through 12th-grade students plan for education and training after high school.

Sign Up

Parent Handbook

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

Start Now

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.

Start Now

Tools for Everyone


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

Student Loan Refinance Calculator

Use your existing loan information to determine your Reset Refinance Loan options.

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.

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.

Return on College Investment 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 tool.

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 you 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 in the financial aid offer. 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 offer 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.