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The Awards Letter | Print |
College Planning Center - Help Center

What Does It Say?

Your award letter tells you the total amount of financial aid that the school is offering. The most common sources are:

Scholarships (Do not have to be repaid) Any scholarships that you included on your Student Aid Report will be listed on this letter along with those the school has to offer.

Gift Aid (Does not have to be repaid) Federal Pell Grant Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Institutional grants State-sponsored grants.

Work-Study. On-campus or school affiliated employment

Loans (Must be repaid)

  • Federal Stafford Loan-subsidized
  • Federal Stafford Loan-unsubsidized
  • Federal PLUS Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • State loan programs
  • Private Lloan programs
  • Other loan programs.

The Fine Print

Read your award letter carefully to be sure you understand all terms and conditions so you can decide if you want to accept any, or all, of the aid offered.

Look for instructions for your next steps. You may need to complete additional paperwork such as loan applications.

Are grants or scholarships available for more than one year? If so, what conditions apply? If not, are any options listed for the following years?

Remember, unless otherwise stated, this letter applies only to the upcoming school year.

Changes? Has your situation changed since you filed the FAFSA? If so, you must report any changes to the school. Additional outside scholarships, parental unemployment or illness, or a change in enrollment or family status could affect your award. Even name and address updates must be reported.

The Deadline - The clock is ticking! Once you've chosen your school, you may need to inform them in writing how much of the award you plan to accept. If you don't respond by the date indicated, your award could be in jeopardy.

Evaluating Award Letters

Using this tool you can:

  • Enter and compare award information from each school.
  • Determine if the financial aid award and your savings are enough to cover the cost of attendance.
  • Analyze options for borrowing additional money when your savings are not enough to cover the cost.
  • View an estimate of the monthly payments associated with borrowing different loan amounts to get a better understanding of whether or not you can afford a school.
  • Enter and view different financing scenarios to find the right solution for you and your family.
  • Save all of the data you enter so you can analyze it now and update it later to explore different options.

Online Award Analyzer