Financial Aid Award Letter Comparison Tool
This is the “sticker price” of college and includes tuition, room and board, books, and supplies.
This is the amount of money that a college estimates your family can afford. EFC is determined by your FAFSA and any other financial aid forms.
This is your expected family contribution subtracted from the school's sticker price
Gift aid that doesn't need to be repaid
These are typically awarded by the federal government, state government, your college, or a nonprofit and do not need to be repaid.
These are awarded by colleges and private organizations and do not need to be repaid.
This can include tuition benefits or other types of financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid and isn’t a grant or scholarship.
This includes both federal work-study, as well as part-time employment you might have.
Student loans that must be repaid with interest
These loans are offered by the federal government and are preferable for students because the interest is paid while you’re enrolled in college.
These loans are offered by the federal government and will accrue interest while you’re enrolled in college.
These loans are offered by the federal government and allow parents to borrow money for their child’s college expenses. These loans typically have higher interest rates than other federal student loans.
These loans are not offered by the federal government and instead borrowed from banks, credit unions, or other lenders.
???? Congratulations on your college admission! Alongside your acceptance letter, you’ll receive a financial aid award letter. Use our tool to compare the financial aid offers from different schools.
- The financial aid award letter is crucial for understanding the cost of attending college.
- The award letter comparison tool helps standardize information from different letters.
- It calculates costs, award sums, and the amount you’d need to repay.
- Key terms to identify in award letters include Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans, Grants, Scholarships, and Net Cost of Attendance.
- Direct Loans are also known as Stafford Loans, and Subsidized Direct Loans are the same as Subsidized Stafford Loans.
- Grants and scholarships provide financial assistance without repayment.
- Scholarships often consider achievements or academic excellence.
- Net cost of attendance is the difference between the total cost and expected family contribution, indicating what financial aid must cover.