Jan 07, 2022

NGPF Podcast (CLASSIC): Mark Salisbury of Tuition Fit on increasing transparency on the cost of college


As high school seniors prepare to receive their financial aid award letters letters later this spring, we thought this popular podcast from Mark Salisbury in 2020 would prepare educators and counselors for the conversations and questions. In addition to listening to this podcast, you will want to participate in an upcoming 3-part PD series that Mark will be hosting, College Pricing Explained: Reality Behind the Curtain. Find out more and register for this FREE! series which starts on January 26th 



  • 0:00~1:22 Introduction
  • 1:22~5:46 Early money lessons
  • 5:46~11:07 Background in higher education
  • 11:07~13:19 The issue with high sticker prices
  • 13:19~14:32 The start of TuitionFit
  • 14:32~18:41 Where the net price calculator falls short
  • 18:41~22:08 What TuitionFit does 
  • 22:08~22:31 A word from NGPF
  • 22:31~23:55 Decoding a financial aid offer 
  • 23:55~29:37 Things to look out for on financial aid offers
  • 29:37~34:42 Financial aid and COVID-19
  • 34:42~38:38 Average discount from the sticker price 
  • 38:38~42:33 Why colleges and universities don’t lower their sticker price
  • 42:33~47:15 How institutions will survive (or not survive) the financial impact of COVID-19
  • 47:15~48:27 Conclusion



  • “One of the things that jumped out to me was just the goofiness of the way college pricing works, or doesn’t work. Having been in admissions for a long time I had talked to lots of families who are like ‘just tell us what the price is going to be’ [but my response was] ‘nope, can’t do it, that’s now how the system works.’"


Wondering what the most popular NGPF podcasts were in 2021? Here's the top 10 list! 


 Check out all the NGPF resources on college financial aid here


 On this issue of college cost transparency, Ron Lieber at NY Times (sub. required) has written two recent columns about this very issue:

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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