Sallie Mae: How to Read Your Financial Aid Award Letter


after colleges send you acceptance
letters they’ll send you another letter that’s just
as important your financial aid award letter there’s no standard format but they all
have the same basic information here are four tips on how to read your
white letters and figure out which schools offering you the best financial package
tip number one understand the cost of attendance the
letter gives you the real cost of attendance or COA it includes tuition and fees room and
board books and even living expenses you may
find the school costs more than you thought tip number two figure out how much
financial aid you’re getting the letter lists how much financial aid you’re being offered including grants scholarships and
work-study you don’t have to pay back any of these work study is a job on
campus would pay you can use that money for living costs
you’ll also see your eligibility for federal student loans which you will have to pay back with
interest tip number three do some simple math once you found those
key numbers subtract them from the cost of
attendance the remainder is what you’ll have to pay on your own through private student loans or with other
funds tip number four compare your offers you’ll get an award
letter from every school that’s accepted you and where you requested financial
aid comparing them can be tricky the easiest
way is with a simple spreadsheet seeing them side by side can be helpful
or you can use an online calculator the College Board has one that lets you
compare up to 4 schools keep in mind the school with the highest
price may have more money to offer you so it may actually cost less you need to
do the math for each school now that you know how much each school
cost it’s time to decide which one is right for you good luck and see you on campus 0

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