Many prospective students and their families lack the information they need to make informed choices about colleges, according to a report being issued today, "Planning for College: A Consumer Approach to the Higher Education Marketplace." The report examines the kinds of decisions families make and the information they need. The report notes that there are 118 different "529" plans, which promote saving for colleges by offering tax advantages to families, and that many do not know how to compare the plans; that information about the actual prices families pay (as opposed to sticker price) remains hard to figure out; and that there is relatively little information about such factors as price based on student-faculty ratios or graduation rates. The report was produced by MassINC, a think tank in Massachusetts.
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