Students looking to attend college in South Carolina now have a tool which can show them how much it will cost them to attend each school across the state, along with the estimate monthly student loans payments once they graduate.
The state Commission on Higher Education has rolled out the “Palmetto Calculator” on its new GetSmartSC.com website. The tool promises to provide the most accurate picture of what students will pay for college, even factoring in their expected major with entry-level salaries expected after graduation.
Commission spokeswoman Kaite Philpott said, while the information already exists online, it was required searching each individual school’s website and potential loan pages. “They can put in that information, as well as any scholarship they may be able to receive and it’ll automatically input those amounts that student may receive,” she said. “And it’ll show an expected total payout amount, as well as different student loan options where they may qualify.”
After inputting their college information, students will see an expected total payout amount, amount paid in interest, and an estimated monthly payment. They will then be able to compare those amounts with similar majors offered at other institutions of higher education in the state and with the average starting salary associated with that degree field.
Philpott said the calculator was created in response to complaints from students and parents at a series of town halls across the state earlier this year.