Adding up the cost of a college eduation may be as simple as logging on to your computer.
90% of first year students at McDaniel College receive merit or need based financial aid.
But few of them knew then exactly what it would cost to go to school.
Now the net price calculator will help new and current students add up the final numbers.
Patty Williams is director of the school's financial aid office. She says this new too will take some of the guess work out of filling out college costs.
"What ours does is it takes all of the financial information that we're going to ask a parent or s student when they apply for financial aid. Ask for it up front, run it through a calculator. give them as estimate of what they're going to pay to come to McDaniel," said Williams.
Already some McDaniel College students are giving the calculators high marks.
"I think it's a very helpful tool considering I depend on financial aid greatly with college and stuff, so I mean it's a great tool for any college student no matter grad or undergrad," said student Amy Baumgardner.
The online calculators require students and parents to pass along tax information, earnings, and bank statements.
It also takes into account student grade point averages, class ranking, and sat scores.
"So now they can sit down and go well, let's see and it's an estimate. The information's only as good as they put in as what comes out. So they have to be pretty careful about what they put in but it will give them an idea," said Williams.
School officials say this computer program can serve as a good first step in helping families to at least estimate how much they'll have to pay for school.