We want to add clarity to the conversation about college cost in the United States. An ECMC initiative, College Abacus is a one-stop, secure search site that allows students to compare the net price of nearly 4,000 colleges. The net price is the cost of school after grants and scholarships are subtracted from the total cost of education. The site provides real-time information and is free to everyone.

An ECMC initiative, College Abacus provides a free service that allows users to compare their projected cost of education across schools and to identify schools within their budgets. Using net price calculators (NPCs) built by US colleges as mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, College Abacus has built a system that generates estimates for nearly 4000 postsecondary institutions in the United States. The projected cost of education posted on CollegeAbacus.org mirrors the estimates users would generate on the websites of each individual school.

Abacus accuracy pledge

College Abacus is committed to providing students and families with transparent information about the cost of college. We commit to bring you the same net price estimates that you would receive if you visited the schools' net price calculators directly. We do not apply our own algorithms or conduct our own analysis.

We test our system of several thousand schools weekly and we have a quality assurance team that regularly checks the system for accuracy. We also run sample profiles through our system each week to ensure that College Abacus reports the correct information for students (and families) of varying demographics.

For students: We know you are busy folks. We are striving to respect your time by building and maintaining a secure and efficient website that will enable your to access your personal financial aid estimates at different schools. We will never sell your personal information to anyone.

For schools: We are committed to reporting your net price estimates exactly as they appear on your website. If you find any inaccuracy or have a concern about a potential issue, we commit to resolving the issue as quickly as possible.

To help students and families generate price comparisons with ease, we do combine the same questions across multiple net price calculators. For example, if your school asks for a student's age, you will probably not see your exact wording in the Abacus question flow. Instead, you will see "Please enter the student's date of birth." If you have any questions about this process, we would be happy to provide you with a map of how your original calculator questions map to the Abacus system promptly.

For more information about College Abacus, or to request your school’s map, please email Abigail at aseldin@ecmc.org.

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