How to Review Your Financial Aid Offer
4 Steps That Get You to Your Bottom line
Whether you’re ready to enroll in your dream college or you’re still considering your options, it’s important to know how to review and compare each college’s financial aid offer. Here are tips for evaluating a financial aid offer from St. Edward’s.
If you’ve been accepted to St. Edward’s, congratulations! If you’ve filled out your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), that’s even better. And if you haven’t — complete the FAFSA today. The priority deadline for filing a FAFSA was Feb. 1, but St. Edward’s will continue to make financial aid offers until funds are exhausted.
Once St. Edward’s has reviewed your financial information, we’ll send you a financial aid package in the mail. Inside, you’ll find a breakdown of 2017–2018 costs, a letter that outlines your financial aid offer, and a worksheet to help you calculate the bottom line.
The financial aid offer in your letter may include both gift aid (money you don’t have to pay back, like academic scholarships or need-based grants) and self-help aid (such as loans).
It’s important to understand both your financial aid offer, as well as how it compares with the cost of attendance.
Every student at St. Edward’s is matched with a financial services advisor who will help you from now until graduation. Your advisor’s name and phone number are included in your offer letter.
It’s important to compare apples to apples by calculating your out-of-pocket cost at each university. The cost of attendance—including tuition, fees, housing and meals, books and travel—varies from school to school. Financial aid offers vary, as well. The only way to understand the real difference between the cost of several schools is to compare your estimated balance at each one. (Our cost comparison worksheet may help.)
Remember that at St. Edward’s, the cost of attendance includes an average class size of 18, a lifetime of career services support, and a personalized education where faculty and staff know students well enough to connect them with internships, mentors, travel opportunities and graduate programs. When you’re comparing the out-of-pocket cost at different schools, it’s worth considering what return you receive on that investment.
By Robyn Ross