Don’t Just Check the NPC Box

Chris Chumley

If you see your net price calculator as a compliance tool that “checks a box” for your next audit, you can stop reading now and check out the free federal tool, or a lightweight solution from a vendor who gives it to you for free to persuade you to buy something else. But if you are concerned with how to enable student financial success at every step in a student’s funding journey, stick around and keep reading.  

When a student is entering the higher education journey, understanding costs and funding options for school and determining financial fit with an institution are the first steps toward ultimate student success. We at CampusLogic see three common barriers:  

  • Complex and cumbersome steps  
  • Content comprehension 
  • Proactive prioritization 

Recent updates to our ClearCost net price calculator address each of these barriers to transform your institution using automation, advising, and analytics.  

Reducing Complexity with Automation 

Accuracy for a net price calculator is reflected in an estimate that provides a realistic funding plan for a student or parent with self-reported information. Providing a practical and accurate estimate is complex and requires an NPC that has the power and flexibility to mirror your institution’s packaging philosophy. It also requires a user experience that encourages accuracy in the information provided.  

ClearCost has always been a market leader in providing highly complex estimates for a range of programs. The flow and steps to collect the information to automate the planning process are highly configurable to your population.  

Highly precise estimates help students and parents determine financial fit with your institution, drive enrollment, and start students on a journey to financial success by reducing surprises now or later in the enrollment process.    

Supporting Comprehension with Advising 

Even though the complex steps of collecting data and providing a robust estimate have always been a part of ClearCost, students and parents sometimes have questions and may struggle to understand the estimate returned to them. To support better comprehension, in January 2020 CampusLogic launched an advisor portal that allows advisors to login to ClearCost and do the following: 

  • Run a real-time estimate for students or parents  
  • Run what-if scenarios to estimate potential costs and funding for the student  
  • Retrieve and review estimates previously run by the student to review with them  
  • Pull lists of students and their data for analysis or for import into other systems on campus  

The advising portal is a feature included in all subscriptions to ClearCost at no additional charge. These tools help advisors provide greater support to students and parents and demystify costs and funding options.  

In addition, CampusLogic has developed and continues to expand a library of financial aid and wellness video content that can be added at no additional charge to your calculator to create greater engagement and drive comprehension of financial aid terms and concepts.  

Allowing for Prioritization with Analytics 

Finally, institutions concerned with enabling student financial success need data and analytics to prioritize solutions that will have the greatest impact. That’s why we integrated the industry’s only business intelligence tool built specifically for financial aid offices. Two years ago, we launched over 25 pre-built Insights in CampusMetrics using data from the ClearCost calculator. These insights allow institutions to visualize and analyze traffic patterns to their ClearCost calculator and get a picture of the background and characteristics of students seeking cost and funding estimates.  

By bringing automation, advising, and analytics to your net price calculator, it is no longer a compliance tool, but a true enabler of student financial success that helps increase enrollment and retention.  


About the Author

Chris Chumley

CampusLogic's Chief Operating Officer - Specializing in product management, project management, and business process design throughout his 20-year career, Chris is an expert in managing change. It’s a leadership characteristic that serves him well at CampusLogic where his team is transforming traditional Financial Aid processes.

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