Your College Budget


The Cost HERO tool allows you to easily create a college budget – with and without borrowing – in just a few minutes.  We hope you find it valuable.  It’s FREE, so you can share it with anyone who might benefit.

It’s also easy to use.  Here’s what you need to know to get started:

  • There are three additional tabs in the upper left corner of the tool (see below)
  • Enter Data is where you will enter most of your data
  • Your Plan simulates a four year college funding plan for one student – with and without borrowing.  You can add or remove student and/or parent borowing on this tab. To make any other adjustments to the plan, return to Enter Data, make your changes, then return to Your Plan.
  • Guardrails provides general guidance about borrowing for college and how potential college debt could impact your credit score.
  • Printing is easy.  The command is embedded at the top of the tool.
  • Save your work.  To save your work click on Submit in the Your Plan tab. You’ll get the entire workbook emailed to you within seconds.  Unfortunaely, we cannot store multiple copies at this time, so be sure to save or print the plans you want.
  • Calculate “what if” scenarios by adjusting any data element and viewing the change in Your Plan
  • Tax Scholarship (the AOTC tax credit) eligibility is automatically calculated
  • Impact of borrowing on your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is automatically calculated

We expect to be making improvements to Cost HERO on a regular basis.  Feel free to send suggestions or to ask questions at any time.  Email:

Thanks for your interest!