Monday, January 14, 2013

Financial Aid & Fiction: FAQs for Readers

Stars of the College Abacus Series "Financial Aid & Fiction"

Okay, first, what is College Abacus?
College Abacus is a free website that helps students access individualized financial aid estimates, direct from schools, before they apply to college. Now available in Spanish, the College Abacus system includes SUNY, CUNY and the University of California system schools, in addition to 2500+ others.

Why should I believe these financial aid estimates? Are you just making this up?
You should trust our financial aid estimates because we did not create them! Unlike other websites, the projected cost-of-attendance posted on College Abacus mirrors the estimates users would generate using the net price calculators of each individual school. Institutions are now required by federal law to build and maintain these net price calculators online. (What is a net price calculator?)

What is the “Financial Aid & Fiction” series?
Following the launch of our beta website in October 2012, we started our "Financial Aid & Fiction" blog series to demonstrate the importance of using College Abacus before students decide where to apply to college. Almost every week, we select a fictional character and use College Abacus to generate that character’s likely financial aid awards at different schools.

Which characters have you featured so far?
To date, we have featured Cristina Moreno (Spanglish), Akeelah Anderson (Akeelah and the Bee), Haley Dunphy (Modern Family), Gogol Ganguli (The Namesake), Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel (Glee) and Bella Swan (Twilight).

How do you decide which characters to feature on the blog? I have a suggestion!
We beg for recommendations from high school students and other cool people. If you want to suggest a character, please reach out via Facebook or Twitter.

Do you ever profile real people?
Not yet! We would like to profile real people, and are looking for high school juniors and college counselors to blog about their experiences with College Abacus. If you’re interested, please write to