At St. Edward’s, you’ll find your purpose and prepare for a full and meaningful life. That journey starts with making smart, informed decisions about financing your college education.

We’ll partner with you every step of the way— from offering financial support, to helping you understand the bottom line, to navigating any changes in your financial situation during your college years.

The first step? Understanding your financial aid offer and your net price.

First, make sure you’ve filled out the FAFSA.

If you’ve been accepted to St. Edward’s, congratulations! The next step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This year’s FAFSA has been open since October 1, and St. Edward’s is mailing out financial aid offers now. Our priority deadline for the FAFSA is Jan. 15. If you fill it out by that date, you’ll have the best selection of financing options. After that date, we’ll keep awarding financial aid packages, but some options may not be available.

Then you’ll receive an award package.

Once St. Edward’s has reviewed your FAFSA, we’ll send you a financial aid offer in the mail. Inside, you’ll find a breakdown of 2020–2021 costs and a letter that outlines your financial aid offer, including the bottom line. Your packet will also have the name and phone number of your financial aid advisor at St. Edward’s. This person will work with you throughout your college years, starting today. Your advisor can walk you through your financial aid offer, over the phone or in person, and help you strategize about the best way to invest in your education.

Next, review your offer.

Your financial aid package explains how we’ll help you invest in our personalized, transformative education. The award offer letter explains the specific types of financial aid you’ve been offered. These options may include scholarships, grants and loans.

  • If you were awarded an academic scholarship based on your admission application (congratulations!), that amount will be listed here.
  • We’ll also tell you how much additional grant money — free money you don’t have to pay back, also called “gift aid” — you’ve been offered.  
  • You may also be offered student loans. You’re not obligated to accept them, but they may be a very smart investment in your future. (More on this in a minute.)

Your financial aid packet explains your net price.

If you’ve used the St. Edward’s Net Price Calculator, you understand the difference between “sticker price” and “net price.” “Sticker price” is the published cost of a year of college, and “net price” is what you’ll actually pay, once you’ve been awarded financial aid. Your financial aid award offer letter tells you the total cost of attending St. Edward’s, minus the scholarships and financial aid you’ve been offered. That’s your net price.

Your financial aid advisor can help you plan for these costs and answer your questions.

Your net price is your out-of-pocket cost for your first year of college. This is the amount your family will invest in your education. Your financial advisor can help you consider your resources to cover these costs, including:

  • The student loan you were offered
  • Your family’s savings for your college education
  • Money you can save from working during the summer and holidays
  • A part-time job during the school year (ask your financial advisor about on-campus options)
  • A parent loan or private loan
  • Scholarships you earn from your high school, local civic clubs and foundations, your parents’ employers, or national organizations (search on Fastweb.com for options) 
  • The four-month payment plan offered to families at St. Edward’s each semester

Your financial advisor is happy to help you strategize about how to cover your out-of-pocket costs, and look at offers from different schools to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Your advisor can also answer questions about using a qualified tuition plan (known as “529 plans”) and discuss any significant changes in your financial situation. The sooner you contact your advisor, the more options you’ll likely have.

Consider the value of your investment.

It’s important to consider what kind of college experience you’re investing in. A school that requires a little more investment up front can offer experiences that pay off for the rest of your life.

  • A St. Edward’s education will help you develop career-relevant job skills in practical internships and semester-long class projects.
  • With the help of your success coach, you’ll create a road map that includes academics, study abroad, service, internships and research — and still allows you to graduate in four years.
  • You’ll learn in small classes from professors who will become your mentors and introduce you to other important opportunities.
  • You’ll graduate with the support of your mentors, a growing alumni network, and lifetime access to the career center.

Compare apples to apples.

If you’re deciding among several schools, be sure you’re comparing the right numbers when you look at the finances. The cost of tuition, fees, housing and other expenses varies from school to school, and financial aid offers vary, too. The only accurate way to compare them side by side is to look at your net price at each school — the amount you’ll pay out of pocket after you’ve been awarded financial aid. Our cost comparison worksheet may help, and so can your financial aid advisor.

Take the next steps.

  • If you haven’t visited St. Edward’s yet, come check out our beautiful campus, from castle-like Main Building to the view of downtown!
  • Be sure to schedule a meeting with your financial aid advisor while you’re here.
  • Make your enrollment deposit as soon as you decide to attend St. Edward’s — by May 1 at the latest.
  • Log on to your myHilltop account and look under “Billing and Financial Aid” to accept the aid you want and decline the aid you don’t want. Do this by May 1, too.