This is Episode 9, and today were talking about What Financial Aid Award Letter Is. Now this may seem like something routine for many who have children in college, but for first-timers, the financial aid award letter can be a confusing thing. Now all the other podcasts have built up to understanding this one.
So you have filed the FAFSA for you or your child, and had it sent to the schools you applied to. For the ones that accepted you or your child, these schools will begin the paperwork of determining the cost of to attend, and how much aid is available to pay for it. Once a financial aid officer has determined all of this information, a letter will be issued to you or your student describing the aid that their eligible for, and what that aid consists of. Specifically, an award letter will contain or summarize the following information:
It will start with the aid given:
Federal Aid Awarded – Includes Pell, FSEOG, Federal Work Study, TEACH Grant, and Iraq & Afghanistan Dependents Grant
State Aid Awarded – State Aid if Available
Scholarships Awarded – School based, or private if known
Student Loans – All types awarded
It will continue with the students estimated cost of attendance and end with instructions on how to accept or reject the award.
Now, a financial aid award letter doesn’t always come in the mail, and may be sent by email. It will be up to you or your student to accept or reject the award. Now, if you know anything about me or read any of my articles, you know I advise to never accept the initial award unless it covers every dime. Appeal, Appeal, Appeal, and justify your appeal. So many circumstances go into an EFC that often only direct contact with a Financial advisor will ever resolve it. Lay offs, work slowdowns, pay cuts, firings, loss of business if self-employed, loss in investments held, loss of property or income due to fire or death. Divorce, separation, abuse and neglect; all are factors in awarding aid, and matter. My tip for this week, communicate with your financial aid office about everything! Do not wait, contact them asap and get issues handled quickly. Be proactive and get the aid you need and deserve.
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