Dykema Gossett PLLC
Dykema Gossett PLLC

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Law Blog

CFPB Law Blog

News and analysisi of the priorities, initiatives and regulatory actions and proceedings of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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CFPB Unveils Financial Aid Comparison Shopper

On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, the CFPB unveiled the newest product of its 'Know Before You Owe' initiative—the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper. This follows the CFPB’s financial and shopping sheet which it released a few months ago. The Financial Aid Comparison Shopper, currently in a beta version, is an online interactive tool designed to help students and families plan for the costs of post-secondary education and understand their options. The new tool was unveiled at an event in South Dakota. 

Students using the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper can search over 7,500 institutions to compare tuition costs at various colleges. What is more, this new tool helps students figure out how much debt they would likely owe upon graduation and determine what their monthly student loan payments would be.

“Now more than ever, students and their families need to know before they owe. Our Financial Aid Comparison Shopper helps students make apples to apples comparisons of their offers and pick the one that works best for their financial future,” said Director Cordray. The tool enables students to make side-by-side cost comparisons.

According to the CFPB, student loan debt has reached $1 trillion. This staggering amount surpasses credit card and auto-loan debt. On average, graduates owe $25,000 in student loans upon graduation. Incredible numbers such as these drove the creation of the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper. “Our goal was to give parents and students, especially high school seniors, an easy to understand view of how their decisions today will impact their debt burdens after graduation,” said the CFPB.

The Financial Aid Comparison Shopper is not yet in its final form. Nonetheless, students and parents alike are urged to try out the new site and provide feedback to the Bureau so it can improve the tool in subsequent versions.