Student loans: What will you owe? Check here.

Students loans online calculator is being tested by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Users can compare grant and scholarship offers to see what they will owe in student loans.    

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/File
Northern Arizona University freshman Tyler Dowden speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington last month to announce the collection of over 130,000 letters to Congress to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling this July. A new website allows students to compare college grant offers to see what they'll owe in future student loans.

Want to calculate how much you could owe in student loans after graduating from a particular college? A new government website provides tools to help with the math.

The site, by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is in the testing phase, but already includes information from 7,500 colleges and universities.

Users can plug in details such as grant and scholarship offers to compare what they might owe after attending different schools. The site also offers information on graduation and student loan default rates.

Student loan forgiveness: 5 ways Obama wants to ease student debt

A "military benefit calculator" function allows the nation's more than 2 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to determine what they could owe after using their GI Bill benefits.

It can be found here.

The site is the latest effort by the federal government to make colleges and universities more open about costs.

A separate Education Department web site — http://collegecost.ed.gov — also addresses college cost, with information such as the rate of tuition increases at colleges.

"Choosing a school is a big responsibility — one that is too often made difficult by an inability to determine the impact of student loan debt," said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at a news conference in Sioux Falls, S.D., with Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and a gathering of local high schoolstudents.

The bureau says student loan debt has reached $1 trillion, surpassing credit card and auto-loan debt. Graduates owe on average about $25,000.

Student loan forgiveness: 5 ways Obama wants to ease student debt

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.