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How to Compare School Financial Aid Offers


Your financial aid package has been specifically tailored for you. It is generated based on your schooling costs. The amount of financial aid funds varies between schools.

Determining Net Price

For every school, follow these simple steps to determine your net cost or net price. This will help you decide which school option will be the most affordable.

On the aid offer, look for the attendance cost for your particular program. If this information is not listed, find out this amount by contacting the financial aid office. Ensure this includes amounts you will directly pay to the school including fees and tuition and extra costs such as transportation, books, supplies and living expenses.

Then, subtract the scholarship and grant funds on your aid offer from the cost of attendance. If you have any savings available that you are planning to put toward school costs, subtract these amounts also. This remaining amount equates to your net out-of-pocket cost.

Follow this formula to check the net costs for each school you are thinking of attending. The net cost equals the amount that will have to be paid out-of-pocket. You may opt to borrow funds or use earnings from working to help cover the cost.

Never hesitate to contact the school financial aid office if you have questions or concerns. They can help you decipher your aid offer and are happy to discuss your best options.

It is vital to understand what exactly you are being offered. Which parts of the offer are loan amounts, and which are grants? Figuring out which aid to accept will help you enjoy a smoother repayment process down the road.

Since your offer may include student loans, it is essential for you to break down the amount of debt you will be incurring by attending different schools.

If you discover that choosing one school will require you to take out a larger amount in private loans, ensure you understand what your loan obligations are.