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Cost of College

Evaluating Financial Aid Award Letters

Information adapted from the Financial Fit Program.

Frank Palmasani explains that a financial aid award letter is designed to allow you to identify your net price at that college and inform you of the financial aid programs for which you are eligible.

Hopefully, the net price you see on your award letter is similar to the net price you saw when you used each college’s net price calculator when you were finding your financial fits. This may not happen—a net price calculator produces an estimate of your net price based on much less information than you provided in your application.

You will notice the difference in the information from the net price calculator and the information in your award letter. Your award letter is much more specific in regards to program eligibility. Your award letter will tell you whether you qualify for any grant aid, scholarships, campus jobs, and different types of student loans.

You should evaluate your award letters to help you determine which colleges are the most affordable for you. You may need to rank the importance of some of your wants and needs to help you decide which college you will attend. Once you’ve made your final decision, remember to send your deposit.

For more information about the grants, campus jobs, and student loans you might be eligible for, and how you can maximize your financial aid benefits, check out the Financial Fit Program.