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ASU commits to more college-cost transparency
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ASU commits to more college-cost transparency

TEMPE, Ariz. — The White House is pushing for U.S. colleges to start disclosing all the fees that new students face, and Arizona State is one of the 10 that plans to do so by fall 2013.

American universities don’t need to disclose information related to all of the fees students will have to pay in a school year. Universities often include how much tuition will be, but some don’t include costs for books, or room and board.

“It’s called a shopping sheet,” said Christine Wilkinson with Arizona State University President’s Office. “All of the universities who participate in this will have a graph that shows the college costs, and [students] can compare costs across institutions.”

Wilkinson said the sheet will allow students to make more educated choices in where they go to school because they’ll have a better idea about how much they will need to spend. It may also speed up how students select a major.

The biggest changes will come in allowing students to compare financial-aid packages. Students will be able to see what loans are best suited for them, and will get a breakdown in payment options.

“They’ll explain that if you take out a loan that this is what it will cost on a monthly basis in the future,” said Wilkinson.

According to Wilkinson, ASU is also looking to show incoming and current students how previous students in the same major are paying off student loans, and which financial-aid packages they used.