Education department, GOP subcommittee unveil college cost Web sites - Washington update
The U.S. Department of Education, as well as GOP members of the House Education and Workforce subcommittee have each launched Web sites to better help parents and students plan for college expenses.
A recent government report found that students and parents who planned for higher education generally overestimated the cost of college tuition at a public institution.
The National Center for Education Statistics report "Getting Ready for College" found that in 1998-1999, though the average yearly in-state undergraduate tuition at public four-year colleges was approximately $3,200, students in grades 11 and 12 who planned on attending public four-year colleges and their parents estimated tuition to be between $5,400 and $5,800.U.S. Education Secretary Roderick Paige cited the report while announcing a new Web site <www.studentaid.ed.gov> that will give parents information about higher education and its cost, including:
* A calculator to project education costs into the future and to develop a financing plan;
* Information about federal financial-aid programs, tax credits and links to private scholarship sites;
* An online financial-aid application;
* Information about the college admission application process and standardized testing requirements for admission; and
* Student and parent loan repayment options.The report is based on data from the Parent and Youth Surveys of the 1999 National Household Education Surveys Program.
Data taken from the surveys for this report are representative of the nation's sixth to 12th-grade population.In addition, GOP members of the House Education and Workforce subcommittee in mid-October launched a Web site that surveys parents and students about their perceptions of college costs and offers news items and a recent committee report about the rising cost of college tuition.
The College Cost Central Web site can be found at "Skyrocketing tuition increases are having a devastating effect on students and families," says Rep. John Bochner, R-Ohio, chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee. "The consumers of higher education--students and parents--need more information so they can fully exercise their power in the college marketplace.