A student’s future financial outlook is often unclear when contemplating the complex decision of which college to attend. Even though colleges are mandated to provide an online net price calculator, most only produce an estimate of the first year’s financial aid and net price. Leaving students unprepared for the reality of their total investment.
One of the oldest Catholic liberal arts colleges in the country, Spring Hill College is emerging as a leader in cost transparency. It now shows prospective students how much they can expect to pay for all four years of their undergraduate education even before they apply. Spring Hill College is setting a new tone with Cegment’s powerful Total Degree Cost Calculator, which generates a comprehensive four-year investment outlook for each student.
Cegment’s Total Degree Cost Calculator technology goes well beyond the traditional net price calculator. The fully compliant utility enables colleges and universities to deliver a holistic financial outlook. By informing prospective students about their total potential costs, Spring Hill College expects to improve students’ financial preparedness and ultimately help more of them continue on to graduation.
“Cost is always one of the first things families want to discuss, but colleges typically only discuss cost in one-year increments, even though education is usually a four-year investment,” said Bob Stewart, Vice President of Enrollment Management for Spring Hill College. “With Cegment’s innovative technology, we can show families that Spring Hill College wants to help them be successful by educating about financial impact from beginning to end. The Total Degree Cost Calculator allows us to discuss the four-year financial picture in the context of affordability and the value our institution has to offer.”
Holistic, Personalized Financial Outlook
The new online calculator was launched in June 2015 in preparation for the upcoming academic year. It showcases Spring Hill’s brand with vibrant imagery and messaging, encouraging users to engage with the enrollment process. The fully customized, feature-rich technology promotes the value and affordability of a Spring Hill College education, and students are able to view their annual and overall investment. With Cegment’s mobile-optimized platform, users can now access the calculator on smartphones and tablets.
“Our approach helps colleges better inform students by providing valuable insight about their specific educational investment,” said Brad Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Cegment. “It is a concept we call communicating to an ‘audience of one.’ By providing relevant information, colleges and universities are able to engage with students early on in the selection process. Attracting quality students has become very competitive. Going beyond traditional recruitment methods to engage with today’s students, wherever they may be, ultimately improves enrollment and retention outcomes.”
According to the 2014 Money Matters on Campus national survey of 65,000 first-year undergraduate students, today’s college students feel less prepared to manage their money than any other challenges related to college life. During the past three years, college students have become more likely to take out student loans in larger sums but less likely to plan for how they will pay the debt after graduation.
Spring Hill College is among the first U.S. higher education institutions to address this issue by helping prospective students understand and prepare for their total education investment.