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Consumer Bureau Rolls Out Web Tool to Compare Financial Aid

Students have a new, quick way to compare college costs online with a tool launched today by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Type in the name of a college that interests you in the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper and you will immediately get the school's sticker price, average amount of grants and scholarships, estimated debt, and an indication of how those figures compare with the average national salary for college grads. With another click, users can enter their own financial information to get a better sense of the net cost of attending. The site also provides the school's graduation rate, retention rate, and student-loan default history.

Along with the Financial Aid Shopping sheet introduced last fall, the new Web tool is part of the administration's effort to empower consumers and improve access to higher education. To help borrowers understand their options when tackling their federal and private student-loan debt, the CFPB also developed the Student Debt Repayment Assistant interactive tool.

In this initial version of the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper, there are more than 7,500 vocational schools and community, state, and private colleges.

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