Comparing aid offers
Finding the best financial aid options
Remember, the cost of tuition listed on a school’s website is likely not the price you'll pay.
The sticker price is the initial, “published” cost of attending a college before any financial aid is considered, while the net price is the actual cost a student will pay after taking into account scholarships and financial aid.
It’s crucial for students and their families to focus on the net price when evaluating the affordability of a college or university, as it provides a more accurate picture of the out-of-pocket expenses.
What is the cost of attendance?
The cost of attendance includes tuition, academic and student fees, estimates for on-campus housing, food, books, course materials, supplies and equipment, transportation and personal expenses. It takes into account your residency, major and campus.
Think of the cost of attendance as the cost of the university if you received no financial aid or scholarships. So, the cost of attendance is not likely the amount you will pay. For that, read on!
What is the net price?
The net price is the actual cost that you and your family need to pay in a given academic year (fall and spring semesters combined). It takes your estimated cost of attendance and then factors in all forms of financial aid and scholarships that you have qualified for.
The net price (what you’re actually responsible for paying) is why it's so important to apply for scholarships and file your FAFSA. While students and families can experience “sticker shock” when seeing the estimated cost of attendance, it's likely that your net price is lower.
Ways to estimate your net price
ASU, NAU and UArizona all have a tool called the “net price calculator.” By answering a few questions about your residency, program of interest, academic performance and family finances, the tools can give you and your family an idea of what your net price will be.
Received your offers? Let’s compare them.
Cost of attendance
Tuition + fees, and estimates for housing, books and food, and transportation
|The total amount of federal aid that you qualify for based on information you filed in the FAFSA. Federal aid comes in three forms:
|In Arizona, you may be qualified for the Arizona Promise Program, which offers gift aid that you do not have to pay back.
|Based on your academic performance, family income and other factors, the college or university may offer you scholarships, which are financial awards that do not have to be repaid.
|The bottom line. Based on the costs minus loans, grants and scholarships, this is the remaining amount that you will have to pay out of pocket to attend the school.