Sallie Mae: How to Read Your Financial Aid Award Letter

Learn how to read and understand your financial aid award letters with these tips from Sallie Mae. While there is no standard format, all award letters have the same basic information. The award letter gives you the real cost of attendance, or “COA,” including tuition and fees, room and board, books and living expenses. Each letter lists how much financial aid you’re being offered, including grants, scholarships and work study. It also includes your eligibility for federal student loans, which you will have to pay back with interest. Once you subtract these numbers from the Cost of Attendance, the remainder is what you’ll have to pay on your own through private student loans or other funds. Keep in mind that the school with the highest price may actually cost less because they have more money to give you. Now that you know the cost of each school, it’s time to decide which is right for you! To learn more about Financial Aid Award Letters, visit…​