NASFAA Mention: How to Read Your Financial Aid Award Letter

"Notoriously complicated and confusing, financial aid award letters are now arriving in students' mailboxes. To read them, students should take advantage of available tools, create a spreadsheet to properly compare offers and contact their financial aid office if something doesn't make sense," U.S. News & World Report writes.

"Students hoping to get help paying for college should expect to receive their financial aid award letter after submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and meeting other institutional requirements. This typically occurs around the time applicants receive college admissions decisions but could be as early as October to as late as April, experts say.

... Further complicating matters, some of the award amounts included in these letters are only estimates. During any economic downturn, such as the one caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, stated amounts may change.

'Institutions are going to do the best they can to estimate what will be available, but if budgets are being slashed in real time, that might be one area of uncertainty,' says Megan Coval, vice president of policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

'Especially during this time of uncertainty, I always encourage reaching out to the financial aid office if there are questions about the financial aid award notification, and if there are concerns about your family situation changing or you are concerned about if something you were awarded will really be available in the fall,' she says."

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 4/18/2020

View Desktop Version