Experts say finding out the cost of college can put students behind

The cost of college is different for almost everyone, just like an airline ticket.

But while plane ticket varies depending on career, date of purchase, and fate, the cost of college depends on the reported family income, resources, the grade that a high school student received, the type of institution they want to attend, and proficiency in a complex application process.

Although about 85 percent of freshmen at a four-year boarding college receive some form of financial support, families are frightened by the price of stickers, according to Philip Levine, an economist who studies the problem. The value of that sticker is a clear number, while the process of bringing that number down – through financial aid or other means – is far from complicated and transparent.

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