New tools aim to make financial aid less confusing for seniors, parents

Filling out college applications isn't just stressful for you – it can be difficult for your parents, too. Many parents want to help pay for college tuition if they are able, and between the various forms of financial aid available, college application deadlines and applying to different schools, the process can be overwhelming.

However, thanks to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, schools are required to include financial aid calculators on their websites, according to the Times-Union. Parents of seniors applying to college can enter in financial information to get an idea of what tuition will actually cost, making the process more transparent.

"A lot of colleges say they're affordable and, using this tool, now you can find out if they are," Dan Lundquist, vice president of enrollment at The Sage Colleges, told the newspaper."It's encouraging families to get beyond this tool and look at the cost to them."

According to NBC News, the tools also take tax information, SAT scores and student GPAs into consideration when calculating the amount students will have to pay for their tuition. Patty Williams, a college admissions official, told the news outlet that the tools will take a lot of the guesswork out of the college application process.

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