If you're preparing to file your federal financial aid form or you just want an idea of what college costs, check out ACT's free financial aid need estimator at www.actstudent.org. The estimator can calculate both your expected family contribution and typical costs at specific colleges.
The calculator first provides you with an expected family contribution (the amount you and your family would be expected to pay toward your education). This amount is the same for all colleges. Next, the calculator estimates costs of attending specific colleges, and using your expected family contribution, estimates your eligibility for federal need-based financial aid. You may select as many colleges as you wish without reentering your personal information. Also, the financial aid estimator does not ask you to identify yourself, nor does it retain any of the information you enter.
The calculator does not provide official results, but because it uses the federal financial aid formula to calculate results, the estimates can help as you plan your college funding.
Source: ACT's News You Can Use