Four Kentucky universities will begin using a standardized financial aid letter aimed at helping students and parents better understand the costs of higher education.

The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday that the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, Bellarmine University and Louisville’s University of Phoenix campus have agreed to use the “Financial Aid Shopping Sheet.”

The standardized letter is an initiative of the Obama administration and is designed to make it easier to compare costs among institutions.

The four Kentucky schools are among nearly 500 colleges and universities nationwide who will use the letter during next school year.

It includes the cost of one year of school, net costs after grants and scholarships are calculated and potential monthly payments for loans after graduation.