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Consumer Protection and College Planning for Military-Affiliated Students




Before enrolling all prospective military-affiliated students (veterans, active-duty, reservists, National Guard, and their families – spouses and children) should be aware of the following tools provided the U.S. Department of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to better evaluate prospective colleges, plan to attend, budget for their college career, and rate the value of their prospective college as well:



(1) The College Scorecard which is a planning tool and resource to assist prospective students and their families as they evaluate options in selecting a school and is located at: http://collegecost.ed.gov/scorecard/



(2) The College Navigator which is a consumer tool that provides school information to include tuition and fees, retention and graduation rates, use of financial aid, student loan default rates and features a cost calculator and school comparison tool. The College Navigator is located at: http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/



(3) The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet which is a model aid award letter designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so they can easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school. The Shopping Sheet can be accessed at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/guid/aid-offer/index.html



(4)  The ‘Paying for College’ webpage which can be used by prospective students to enter the names of up to three schools and receive detailed financial information on each one and to enter actual financial aid award information. The tool can be accessed at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college/