The Financial Aid Award Letter
The Financial Aid Award Letter will tell you the total amount of financial aid a college is offering. The Award letter will list all scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans being offered to the student. Every college has its own policies, as well as Federal methods to guide them when putting together an aid package. Expect Award Letters to arrive after March 1st for the coming academic year. Upper classmen Award Letters tend to arrive a month or two later.
How Aid Is Awarded
The data you submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This information is sent to all colleges listed on the FAFSA. In order to determine your financial aid eligibility, each college will use the FAFSA data, and sometimes the CSS PROFILE data collected. Each Financial Aid Office will then compile a Financial Aid Award Letter based on this data. The formula below is used to determine the amount of financial aid eligibility a family has. The college will then determine how the eligibility/need will be fulfilled. Financial eligibility or need will typically be fulfilled by a variety of loans, grants, and scholarships. The college is NOT obligated to meet any or all of the eligibility/need demonstrated.
|Cost of Attendance (COA)|
|– Expected Family Contribution|
|= Financial Need/Eligibility|
To make an informed decision, you may want to wait for all of your Award Letters before you send in an acceptance. This will allow your family to compare the aid offers side-by-side. Certainly the least expensive may not be the most appropriate college for your student. All factors should be considered including: costs, academic challenge, college setting, social fit, etc. Use our Financial Aid Award Comparison Calculator to help you compare your college choices. This calculator will take the guesswork out of comparing free aid, loans, net cost and more.
Appealing Award Letters
A student may decline, accept or appeal any award in total or in portion. Only appeal a financial aid award when you strongly believe your family cannot reasonably handle the financial burden. Each school will have their own appeal process, but all appeals should be done in writing. Review our sample appeal letter to build your case and provide documentation to back up your claims.
Loans and the AAA Student Lending Program offered through AAA Southern New England Bank. Rates and terms are subject to change or termination without notice. All loans are subject to satisfactory credit approval and Federal government eligibility requirements. Other loans and terms available.
You may qualify for Federal student loans. We encourage students to exhaust Federal student loan options before applying for a Private student loan, as Federal loans are often less expensive and offer the widest variety of repayment options.