It is easy for prospective college students and their parents to learn basic tuition, room and meal plan costs from university websites. But, it's hard to know what a family might be responsible for until much later in the process and after they've applied for financial aid.
A college's “sticker price” is the amount that a student who receives no financial aid will pay to attend.
The “net price” is the real cost to attend – the amount you pay out-of-pocket after financial aid is deducted.
The Federal Department of Education has designed the Net Price Calculator to help students and parents estimate what the real cost will be earlier in the process.
To estimate net cost, the Net Price Calculator looks at the college's cost of attendance and your financial aid eligibility.
The calculations will be based on the basic formula of price of attendance minus grant aid. The calculator will generate an estimate based on your unique information and what similar students paid in the previous year. The estimate generated from the calculator will not represent a final or binding determination of the institution's cost.
No. The Net Price Calculator will not tell you what your financial aid package will be.
Net price calculators are intended to provide early estimates to guide students' and parents' decision-making but do not replicate the college's financial aid process.
The estimate provided using this calculator does not represent a final determination, or actual award, of financial assistance, or a final net price; it is an estimate based on price of attendance and financial aid provided to students in a previous year.
Price of attendance and financial aid availability change year to year. The estimates shall not be binding on the Secretary of Education, the institution of higher education, or the State. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible for, and receive, an actual financial aid award that includes Federal grant, loan, or work-study assistance. For more information on applying for Federal student aid, go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ 
Private scholarships and employee tuition remission, are not included in this estimate. The Net Price Calculator does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state residents. Therefore, gift aid estimates may include California State Grants that you may not be eligible to receive. Actual awards may vary based on program applied to, scholarship availability, and artistic merit. If you have questions regarding the Net Price Calculator, the financial aid application process, or CalArts Admissions, we encourage you to contact us.