How can I project the total cost attending a college?
That will vary by personal situation, but a good start is the “net price calculator,” which colleges that participate in federal student financial aid programs must post on their websites. Some calculators ask as few as eight questions about the family finances and the student’s academic record while others ask more than 70; those that ask detailed questions tend to be more accurate. Links to the calculators of participating colleges are at http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/resource/net_price_calculator.asp.