Financial Aid Award Notice

Finally, the output from all the inputs

Typically, you will receive a Financial Aid Award Notice from each college or university listed on your FAFSA to which you have been accepted for admission.

Any federal financial aid that you may be offered will generally be in the form of grants (such as Pell Grants), work-study programs and loans (such as Federal Stafford and Parent PLUS loans). Additionally, many states, colleges and universities use the FAFSA to award aid from their own resources as well, including grants, scholarships, and other college-sponsored financial aid.

(Note: Your school financial aid office will be able to tell you the approximate date that Financial Aid Award Notices will be sent.)

Multiple Financial Aid Award

They are not all created equal

If you have been accepted for admission to several schools, you may receive multiple Financial Aid Award Notices. Students often compare the aid packages outlined in each to help make their final school selection.

Students and parents are encouraged to carefully review the amount and types of aid that are being offered, paying special attention to the amount of “self-help” aid offered (aid in the form of student and/or parent loans and work-study programs). While the total aid offered at one school may be more than another, there may be more self-help aid included in the package—meaning a greater percentage of financing for which the family will be responsible. Furthermore, in comparing financial aid awards, families should carefully review the true cost of attendance at each school (tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board, utilities, travel, living expenses, etc.), as the amount of “unmet need” (expenses the family may have to pay for out of pocket) can be significant.

Once you’ve decided which college or university you’re going to attend, you should notify your school of choice as soon as possible (most have a response deadline included in the award notice). Your school financial aid administrator will then be able to offer detailed instructions on the process for accepting any or all of the financial aid offered to you, and on completing any necessary paperwork.

What if the financial aid package isn’t enough?

Given rising college costs, it is not uncommon for students and families to find themselves in need of additional assistance to help cover the total cost of their higher education expenses.

Fortunately, there are options available, including private education loans, that can help. With a credit-based private education loan, you can finance up to 100% of your COA, including related educational expenses such as computers, housing, transportation, etc.

To help students and their families navigate the private loan marketplace, we developed LoanHelp™ - an unbiased and independent private student loan advisory service available exclusively to our clients. Visit the LoanHelp page to learn more. For additional student loan information, see also Student Financial Aid Info.