Congrats! You’ve been accepted to your institution of choice and are well on your way to starting your higher education journey. You’ve been approved for financial aid and will soon be getting a financial aid offer containing important details about your investment in education. We’re here to answer a few frequent questions from students just like you!

How will I get my financial aid offer?

Financial aid offer letters come in many shapes and sizes. They may be referred to as a merit letter, award letter, or financial aid package. You will receive your offer letter by email, mail, or accompanying your acceptance letter. If in doubt, check with your school’s financial aid office to find out how your school will be sending this to you.

What should I understand about the information in my financial aid letter?

Your financial aid letter will inform you of the full cost of attendance for each of the schools you are considering. This will allow you to compare the overall cost and determine the best option for your financial situation. You may also be able to use this knowledge to negotiate with your preferred school. Every school has a different process, so be sure to speak with your financial aid office if you want to discuss negotiating your offer letter.

What are the next steps after comparing financial aid offers?

After evaluating your financial aid offers, it’s time to make your final decision. Contact your school of choice to formally accept your financial aid award and decline any other financial aid offers you won’t be accepting. These offers usually have an acceptance deadline determined by the school, so be sure to plan accordingly. After you accept your offer, you may need to complete and submit additional paperwork such as loan applications.

What will my financial aid offer include?

Financial aid offers typically include the total cost, expected contribution, and the additional funding you will receive to pay for your education. This funding will usually fall into one of three categories: Free Money, Borrowed Money, and Earned Money. Ultimately, the full cost of attendance will be included in your offer letter.

When in doubt, your school’s financial aid office will be your go-to place for answers regarding all of the financial aspects of your education. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them when you are unclear about anything financially related to your college experience. Want a printable copy of this scholarship guide? Download it here. 

Want to start applying for scholarships? Create a free profile on Kaleidoscope here. 

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