A financial aid award letter indicates how much financial support a college/university is able to provide a student for the upcoming year.

After a college/university admits a student, you will receive a financial aid award letter that outlines how much will cost and what kind of financial aid you will receive including school, state, and federal aid. Each year you will receive a financial aid package. Your financial aid package each year may or may not change depending on various circumstances.

Check your mail or your student portal to find your award package. 

1. Find out your EFC and how much grant aid you were awarded

Your package will include information about your:

Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) 

This amount is calculated based on the information submitted on your financial aid application. Your EFC is not an actual that you have to pay but it is an estimate of how much your family should reasonably be able to contribute towards your college expenses. EFC takes into account income, assets, number of people in the household, and number of people attending college for the year.

Grant Aid

Type of aid that does not have to be repaid. Examples include grants and scholarships.

Self Help 

Type of aid that must be repaid or earned through work. Examples include loans and work study.

2. Find out the net price

 

Cost of Attendance: full price colleges/universities list in their brochures and on their websites. To find out your net price, look at the cost of attendance subtract grant aid you were awarded in your aid fin aid package. The net price is the amount you or your family will pay out of pocket. If you or your family cannot cover your net price, you can find employment, additional scholarships or get federal loans to offset the net cost.

3. Focus on your net price

Knowing your net price gives you the best estimate of what you pay for a particular school and makes comparing college easier. In addition, you can use your net price each year to make financial plans for the school year.

Adapted from a training provided by Families In Schools