Questions to Ask When Comparing Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships
"Questions to Ask When Comparing Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 22nd July 2011
- What deadlines should you be aware of?
- What is the college’s annual COA? (If you have any special circumstances, let the financial aid office know.)
- How much have costs increased in each of the last three years?
- How much of the aid is grants and scholarships? Are they renewable each year? Will the dollar amount increase if your tuition or other costs go up? Are there specific terms and conditions for renewal?
- Are merit scholarships available? If so, how do you apply?
- If you’re offered work-study or student employment, how many hours will you need to work each week? What is the hourly pay rate and the availability of jobs? Are there jobs related to your major or career goal?
- How much loan aid is offered? What’s the interest rate? What are the terms and conditions of each loan?
- What fees will you have to pay on your federal student loan? Origination or federal default fees of up to 1 percent may be deducted from each loan disbursement.
- If grants, scholarships or federal student loans don’t cover your total calculated financial need, can you dip further into savings, get a part-time job, look into other options and/or cut your expenses? Or do you need to borrow more?
- Does the college offer a payment plan that will let you spread your payments over the school year?
- What is the average loan debt of the college’s graduates overall—and of graduates in your program of study?
- What happens to your financial aid if you receive an outside scholarship?
- What would your financial aid award look like in subsequent years?