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Know Before You Owe Shopping Sheet

The U.S. Department of Education’s 'Know Before You Owe Shopping Sheet' helps potential and current students evaluate the true cost of education. You can use this tool to determine your out-of-pocket expenses for a school year.

You may find it difficult to budget for education expenses with the uncertainty of tuition costs, fluctuations in your service member's pay, child care costs and other miscellaneous expenses. One way to understand how much money you will actually need for school is to evaluate your potential expenses and sources of income. This worksheet can help you through the process.

Education expenses are about more than just tuition. You’ll also need to think about the tools you will need once you've paid for tuition, such as books, transportation and other fees. You will determine your income sources, such as grants, scholarships, GI Bill® benefits, My Career Advancement Account Scholarship and household income and subtract any expenses to determine your net education costs. This will give you a basic idea of the true annual cost of your education. This is a great tool you can use when evaluating school programs and finding the right one to fit your goals and budget.

For assistance with calculating your net education costs or other tools to evaluate school programs, contact a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website.

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