California College for East Coast Student with Limited Funds?
Doesn’t tell you much, eh?
But the first thing that you should do is to play with the “Net Price Calculator” for several of the CA colleges that your son has mentioned. Colleges are required to post an NPC online to help families assess and compare college costs. (There should be an obvious link on each school’s Financial Aid Web pages. If you can’t find it, just Google “Net Price Calculator+[College Name]”). You will need your most recent tax forms in front of you … or an impressive memory … to complete the NPC. While you can never take the NPC results as gospel truth, they usually will help to give you a ballpark idea of what your bottom-line cost will be. Note, however, that some colleges try to include potential merit aid in their NPC algorithm but not always with great success, because merit aid evaluation is often a subjective process. (And many colleges don’t even try, which can make the NPC misleading for merit-aid contenders.)