Resources: Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last year released a financial aid Shopping Sheet designed to make the cost of college and financial aid packages more transparent and comparable for students and their parents.

While the current version of the Shopping Sheet has been out since July 2012, questions about implementing the Shopping Sheet have persisted. The use of the Shopping Sheet is voluntary, and ED officials said that colleges and universities would not be required to substitute this Shopping Sheet for their own financial aid award letters. The sheet can be used as the official institutional award letter, to supplement the institutional award letter, or for students covered by the Principles of Excellence, established in President Obama’s April 2012 executive order regarding colleges serving military veterans and their families. 

Colleges can notify ED of their intent to use the Shopping Sheet by emailing

To help schools navigate the latest updates on the Shopping Sheet, NASFAA has created this resource center, where the latest news and resources will be aggregated.

U.S. Department of Education & CFPB Resources

Final PDF version of the Shopping Sheet (Sept. 28, 2012)  

GEN-12-17: Commitment to use the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (Aug. 30, 2012)  

Implementation Update on the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (Sept. 11, 2012) 

Implementation of the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (Sept. 28, 2012) 

Institutional Metric Data File for the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (Jan. 18, 2013) 

GEN-13-05: Implementation of Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (Jan. 30, 2013)

NASFAA Resources

NASFAA President Makes Recommendations to ED on Award Letters (Sept. 13, 2011) 

NASFAA Response to CFPB 'Shopping Sheet' (Jan. 17, 2012) 

NASFAA Comments on Department of Education, CFPB Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (July 24, 2012) 

NASFAA Letter to Members on Understanding and Using the Shopping Sheet  

Improving Award Letters and Consumer Information Web Center  

Webinar: Award Letters and Related Consumer Information, available until March 23, 2013 (recorded Oct. 24, 2012) 

Chart Comparing Award Letter Proposals (Nov. 2, 2012) 

Q&A: CFPB, ED Issue Final Version of Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (Nov. 5, 2012) 


Publication Date: 2/25/2013

Kristopher H | 3/1/2013 9:14:12 AM

You must be logged in to comment on this page.

Comments Disclaimer: NASFAA welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in respectful conversation about the content posted here. We value thoughtful, polite, and concise comments that reflect a variety of views. Comments are not moderated by NASFAA but are reviewed periodically by staff. Users should not expect real-time responses from NASFAA. To learn more, please view NASFAA’s complete Comments Policy.
View Desktop Version