Earlier this month, we reported on the launch of the CFPB’s new online tool for comparing college costs. The tool, which allows prospective students to compare the costs at up to three colleges at a time, was recently criticized for overestimating the debt a student will incur.
Tony Pals, the communications director for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, has been quoted as saying that the tool “grossly overestimates the average yearly debt of students” and shows an amount of annual debt that “would be the total debt of students after 4 or 5 years of study.” Echoing our concerns about the tool’s mixing of generic and specific information, Mr. Pals is said to have noted the “case-by-case” nature of financial aid and commented that the averages presented by the tool were not representative of actual costs.
The article also reported on a statement made by an administrator at Georgetown University that the numbers provided by the tool overestimate the actual debt incurred by attending Georgetown or similar institutions.