To help students navigate paying for college, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today released the “Your Financial Path to Graduation” web tool designed to help students clearly understand the total cost of attending college and make informed decisions about paying for their education.
“Your Financial Path to Graduation” helps students turn financial aid offers into plans to pay for school step-by-step. Along the way, it explains terms, offers money saving tips, and tracks uncovered costs. Once students finish making a plan, the tool estimates the total debt at graduation and offers information to help the student evaluate whether that debt is affordable in the long run. Students can save their plans and revise them if their circumstances change.
The tool is designed for students to use on their own or with guidance from high school counselors or college financial aid advisors. Institutions of higher learning can also send prepopulated links to students as an interactive supplement to other financial aid communications. The Bureau is currently seeking high schools, colleges, and college access organizations to pilot the tool during the coming school year.
“The tool we released today is an innovative tool to provide students and their families with simplified and effective disclosures on the cost of college and the cost of their financing options over the life of the loan,” said Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “This tool we’ve developed seeks to do that and goes to the core of our mission to protect consumers and prevent consumer harm.”