Bob Johnson's Blog on Higher Education Marketing

Financial aid calculator online at Youngstown State University... a critical service in 2009

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Every since I visited my first online financial aid/scholarship calculator at the University of Toledo 3 or 4 years ago, this service has been gradually expanding at more schools.

This latest addition to my blog list turned up in conversation during a presentation at ACT's annual Ohio conference in Columbus on Wednesday.

Visit the "Financial Aid and EFC Estimator" and take a trip through the pages.

Criteria to win an academic scholarship are clear on the second page:

  • ACT or SAT range
  • GPA (below or above 3.0)
  • Class rank (top 10% & top 15% count)
  • Status as a valedictorian

Things get a bit more complicated on the 3rd page. Here you'll find some FAFSA-like questions for both parent(s) and student for an estimate of the EFC. Best to have the most recent family tax forms at hand for this part. And that's where I stopped.

The form does seem easy enough to complete, particularly if the family has had anyone in college before and completed a FAFSA for them.

If academic scholarships are awarded regardless of need, then it might make sense to let people who are only interested in merit awards complete this part of the form without having to complete the EFC part.

But without a doubt it is good to see services like these continue to spread. And in 2009, it is certainly reasonable to assume that the already strong interest reported in Noel-Levitz surveys is only going to grow in intensity. 

See a list of 10 other colleges and universities offering similar services (some just for merit awards, others including need-based grants).

If you don't already offer a similar service, this seems a high priority goal for website improvement. 

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