Dordt College News

Dordt College rolls out online Net Price Calculator

October 17, 2011

How much does college actually cost? It might surprise you to know that almost every student who attends Dordt College will pay significantly less than the “sticker price.”

To help students calculate potential costs, Dordt College has launched a new online price calculator, in accordance with a new federal mandate. This tool will allow families to enter financial data similar to what they would enter on a financial aid form, but the form is simpler. The cost estimate that is returned includes both costs paid to Dordt and estimated personal costs for books, travel, and other items.

“By using the net price calculator, families will see just how affordable an education at Dordt College can be,” said Quentin Van Essen, executive director of admissions.

The value of a Dordt College education goes far beyond the cost of tuition. When measuring overall value, it’s important to consider factors such as graduation rates, average debt at graduation, and quality of education—along with the fact that every course at Dordt is taught from a distinctly Christian perspective and students are part of a supportive Christian learning community.

State data shows that Dordt College students are more likely to graduate in four years than students who attend state schools. In addition, the average debt at graduation is just $21,900 for Dordt College students, far lower than other private colleges and the state’s public universities.

Van Essen noted that there are several reasons Dordt College is able to provide a quality education that won’t burden students with tremendous debt. “Dordt does an excellent job of providing students with scholarships, grants, and workstudy programs that help a great deal in keeping the student’s debt load down.”

Financial Aid Director Mike Epema wants users to remember that the tool can only provide an estimate of what an award would look like—“but it will help people know much more than they did before.” Epema said actual costs can only be determined after the full application process is completed, including the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Dordt’s calculator is unique because instead of using a costly template, the college built its own, saving money and giving the college a customized tool that will give prospective students the most accurate financial picture possible.

“We have the expertise on our own campus to create this, and as a result I think we have a better net price calculator than many schools out there,” said Epema.

Dordt College has been listed on several “best colleges” lists including those of U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review,, and Washington Monthly. Rankings typically look at the average cost of tuition as well as quality of education, residential life, and other factors when determining rankings.

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