Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter

Financial Aid Help You’ve filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), submitted your college applications, and have received your acceptance letters, so what comes next? Welcome to the confusing task of reviewing and understanding your financial aid award letter! If you’ve received your letter and are wondering what COA, EFC, Subsidized, and Unsubsidized mean, never fear, we are here to help!

First, it’s important to know how your college calculated your award package. When you completed the FAFSA, this information was sent to your prospective colleges and you were assigned an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Colleges use this number, along with the Cost of Attendance (COA), to determine the amount of financial aid you may be entitled to receive. Each college has different variables when determining their COA, with many including tuition, fees, books and housing in the calculation. Continue Reading…


Financial Aid Package Battle

financial aid battle Your dream college has accepted you for enrollment next fall and has mailed your financial aid package for review. The package includes a hefty scholarship from the college and federal loans and grants. However, you just received an award letter stating that you won a $10,000 scholarship from an external organization. Congrats! Will this $10,000 scholarship you earned affect your financial aid package? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple. It depends on the college’s policies.

Some colleges will treat the $10,000 as if you saved it and intended to use it for college expenses. If your financial aid is need-based, then the school’s financial assistance office may reduce the university’s scholarship they were going to give you. Continue Reading…


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