Frequenty Asked Questions


Higher Admission brings price discovery forward in the extremely complex and outdated college admission process.


Students and parents should always keep in mind that no two students pay the same price. College is the second largest purchase, after a home, most people ever make. Yet students have no way of comparing prices or assessing affordability until the spring of the year in which they will matriculate, and then only after long and arduous admissions and financial aid application processes. By the time the true net cost of attendance is revealed, application deadlines have passed and minds have been made up. Put simply, it’s too late to factor price into students’ college selection process. We’ve solved this problem.

Determining a student’s exact final total cost of attendance, after all financial aid, is extremely complex. We exclude costs and aid that is either so insignificant, or so idiosyncratic, that their inclusion is impossible and wouldn’t help with our goal of helping students begin their college search having a good idea of what they’ll pay from earnings, savings or loans.


For now, students can’t know their exact net cost of attendance until completing the arduous admissions and financial aid process at each college. But Higher Admission is a great place to start. Please keep in mind that students, or their parents, can usually borrow up to the full cost of attendance. Our goal is to limit that amount!

  • Costs
    • We include the big items that are comparable across colleges.
      • Tuition
      • Mandatory fees
      • Room
      • Board
    • We exclude smaller costs that don’t vary much between institutions and usually don’t drive student decisions to pick one college over another.
      • Books
      • Lab fees
      • Travel
      • Incidentals
  • Institutional financial aid - aid that comes from colleges
    • Included
      • Merit aid that is objectively determined and isn’t related to students’ financial situation. For example:
        • Merit aid based on grades, test scores and/or class rank
        • Aid that is based on achievements, such as scouts
        • Aid that is based on the type of high school attended
      • Institutional need based aid - if the college gives us access to their need aid algorithm, and the student enters his or her EFC, we include institutional need based aid.
    • Excluded
      • Scholarships that require a separate application
      • National Merit Finalists scholarships
      • Aid categories that can’t be determined by our student profile, for example, legacy discounts
  • Federal or state government aid - Please keep in mind that this aid applies regardless of which college you choose and is therefore not very relevant when comparing net cost of attendance between colleges.
    • Included
      • Pell grants for students who provide their EFC
      • State grants when possible
    • Excluded
      • Work study
      • Military benefits
      • Loans
Elite colleges want low income high achievers and compete to enroll the best of them. Higher Admission was founded by a low income high achiever who went to the military instead of college because of perceived unaffordability. Accordingly, one of our big goals is to help the annual group of hundreds of thousands of low income high achievers who don’t even apply to an elite college. The eleven full need colleges on our platform provide 100% of all enrolled students’ need - without loans. No other colleges do so.
No. The Preliminary cost of attendance that Higher Admission provides is a great way to compare what colleges will require you to pay from savings, earnings or loans. Your actual financial aid award may include some institutional need aid, state grants, work study and, most importantly, loans. Please keep in mind that who you are determines your price. Your achievements and characteristics will earn you merit aid that differs substantially between colleges. Our goal is to help you compare these awards.
  • Student accounts for managing the list of colleges - students will be able to favorite, hold and delete schools.
  • Students will be able to send their information to selected colleges to start the recruitment and application processes.
  • Pre-approval of students for admission based on each colleges minimum acceptance standards
  • A credential vault facilitating one click applications and deposits.
  • Machine learning/AI applied to completing FAFSA and CSS
  • Depending on the outcome of the U.S Department of Justice’s investigation of NACAC, provide colleges with the option of offering incentives for students to commit prior to May 1st.