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New Calculators Will Show Affordability of West Virginia Public Colleges (w/logo)

  • Created
    Wednesday, April 20 2011
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

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Prospective Students for Bluefield State College Can Know

Personalized Aid Eligibility Before Applying

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – April 21, 2011 — West Virginia’s college-bound students and their families will soon have a clearer picture of their real cost of attending 13 of the state’s public colleges. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC) and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education (WVCTCE) are supporting the implementation of sophisticated, online net price calculators (NPC) that will estimate merit and need-based aid at  Bluefield State College and 12 other institutions for prospective college students before they apply to the colleges.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires the nation’s 6,800 post-secondary institutions that receive Title IV federal student aid funds to post a net price calculator on their Web sites by October 29, 2011. Net price is an individual’s estimated education cost after subtracting the merit and need-based federal, state, and institutional grants, which a student is eligible to receive, from a college’s published cost of attendance, an amount also referred to as “sticker price.”

Student Aid Services, the nation’s leading provider of net price calculators, won a contract to provide Commission and Council supported advanced calculators customized for Bluefield State College of Bluefield, Concord University of Athens, Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College of Fairmont, Glenville State College of Glenville, Marshall University and Mountwest Community and Technical College of Huntington, Shepherd University of Shepherdstown, West Liberty University of West Liberty, West Virginia State University and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College of Institute, Bridgemont Community and Technical College of Montgomery, and West Virginia Northern Community College of Wheeling.

Student Aid Services currently serves 294 client campuses nationwide. Its NPC technology provides much more personalized, accurate cost information to students and their families than the minimum requirements of federal NPC mandate.

“Leaders at the Commission and the Council determined West Virginia will be a national leader in giving students and their families more and better early information about their cost of college,” said Jeff Whorley, president of Student Aid Services. “An education at these 13 colleges can be more affordable than many students believe. These net price calculators are especially effective at delivering the important message of education value at these institutions.”

A net price calculator tailored for each college’s financial aid policies will be available on each institution’s Web site by this summer. Whorley said the 13 public West Virginia colleges will be among the first in the nation to calculate Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for veterans and current service members.  He also noted that West Virginia Northern Community College is likely to be the first public college in the nation to install a federally-compliant calculator that fully provides cost estimates for non-traditional students, such as working adults who will attend college part-time.

All NPCs offered through the WVHEPC and the CTC Council initiative will calculate all merit and need-based student aid available at institutions including the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship, the Higher Education Grant, the Underwood-Smith Teachers’ Scholarship, all nine federal programs, the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program military education benefits, and each institution’s grants, scholarships, and work-study student aid.

Last year, West Virginia University of Morgantown and Potomac State College of Keyser selected Student Aid Services as their custom NPC provider.

“West Virginia University and Potomac State were early innovators of user-friendly college cost estimation for prospective students and it’s clear that the trend is continuing with other institutions in the state,” Whorley said.

In addition, West Virginia Wesleyan College of Buckhannon, a private institution, also will post a custom net price calculator created by Student Aid Services.

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About the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC) is responsible for developing, establishing, and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the state's colleges and universities. It is charged with oversight of higher education institutions to ensure they are accomplishing their missions and implementing the provisions set by state statute. For more information, visit http://wvhepcnew.wvnet.edu/ or contact Kevin Walthers, Ph.D., vice chancellor for administration, at 304-558-4016.

About the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education 

The mission of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia is to deliver affordable, accessible high quality education and training that dynamically advances the economic and social development of West Virginia. For more information, visit http://www.wvctcs.org/.

About Student Aid Services, Inc.

Student Aid Services, Inc. is the nation’s leading net price calculator provider with 294 campus NPCs in use or being built nationwide.  The company’s advanced technology – the ThinkAhead™ Net Price Calculator is customized to post-secondary institutions’ needs and budget so those colleges and universities can offer prospective and current students accurate aid eligibility, net price, and out-of-pocket cost estimates. Student Aid Services is a private company with offices in Indianapolis, Indiana and Sacramento, California. Its affiliate, StudentAid.com, provides consumers side-by-side comparisons of aid eligibility, net prices, and out-of-pocket costs for colleges of their choice as an early step in college planning. www.studentaidservices.com

© Student Aid Services, Inc., 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Student Aid Services, studentaid.com, and ThinkAhead are trademarks of Student Aid Services, Inc., in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Media Contact:
Mary A. C. Fallon
communications consultant for Student Aid Services
mfallon@studentaidservices.com
916-629-7050 or 916-832-7627 – mobile