Worksheet to Evaluate Your Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships Offers

"Worksheet to Evaluate Your Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships Offers" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 9th January 2012

The financial aid office at each college you list on your FAFSA (that you have been or will be accepted to) will provide you with an evaluation of your eligibility for financial aid if you submitted the required financial aid applications and met the deadlines. If your college asks for additional information, be sure to respond promptly. Your offer may list your college’s annual COA; the amount that will be covered by a mix of grants, work-study, loans or other aid; and the amount you’ll have to contribute. It may also explain the terms and conditions for receiving student aid and the deadline for accepting or declining it.

Your offers will typically vary from college to college, so you may want to wait until you’ve heard from each one before making a decision—but don’t wait so long that you miss deadlines. Or you may want to accept one college’s offer while waiting to hear from the school of your choice. Just be sure to let the first college know if you decide later to decline its offer.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to accept your entire student aid package but can pick and choose the aid you want. If you do decide to decline aid, however, that aid may not be available later if you change your mind. If you’re offered a loan, remember that accepting a loan means accepting the responsibility of repaying it. Check also - Questions to Ask When Comparing Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships

A quick way to compare offers and determine your net costs is to subtract all of your grant, scholarship and other free aid from your cost of attendance. Keep in mind that colleges have different ways of awarding financial aid as well as different costs of attendance.*

Cost of Attendance
Tuition and fees
Room and board**
Books and supplies
Computer allowance
Other fees
Other costs
Total College Costs (A)
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant
National SMART Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
State grants
Other grants
Total Grant/Scholarship Aid (B)
Your Net Costs (A - B)
Federal subsidized Stafford loan
Federal unsubsidized Stafford loan
Federal Perkins loan
Federal Parent PLUS loan
Federal Graduate PLUS loan
College loan
Private loan
Total Loan Aid (C)
Total Financial Aid B + C= D
Your Out-of-Pocket Costs (A - D)
Work-Study or Student Employment (E)

* Not all colleges participate in all of the financial aid programs listed here.
** If room and board aren’t part of your housing contract, check with the college’s housing office or look in the local paper for rental costs.

Even if you think your family has too much money to qualify, you should still apply for financial aid. You may not receive need-based aid, but you may qualify for low-interest federal student loans.

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