net price calculator en New federal mandate requires online aid estimators for colleges <p>A new federal mandate could make it easier for families to budget for college. <a href="">Net price calculators</a> will be required by all colleges and universities starting October 29th. At a minimum, net costs are based on a student&rsquo;s income, how big their family is and their dependency status.</p><p>Keith Williams works in the <a href="">financial aid</a> office at <a href="">Michigan State University</a>. He says MSU&rsquo;s net price calculator has been around for several years.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;It just allows a student to make a real, realistic comparison as to what the net price will be at one school versus another school,&quot; Williams said.</p></blockquote><p>Margaret Rodriguez works in the <a href="">financial aid</a> office at the <a href="">University of Michigan</a>. She says the mandate is a good thing.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;The more information that we can make available to families about the availability of financial aid, the better it is,&quot; she said.</p></blockquote><p>Schools can use their own system or the generic calculator provided by the federal government.</p><p><em>- Amelia Carpenter - Michigan Radio Newsroom</em> Mon, 15 Aug 2011 21:03:29 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 3763 at