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After receiving my decision from the university, would I be able to see the amount of financial aid they are offering??

I am exploring the college application process particularly in Texas. I want to know whether we would be able to compare my financial aid offers of all the universities that accepted me?

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Maggie’s Answer

Hi Meghana, I currently work as an Admissions Counselor for an online college, and I have gone through the Financial Aid process for many years. The main thing to consider or take note of is to complete your Free Application for Student Aid on www.fafsa.org. Once you complete that, any school that you apply to will advise you to add their school code to the application, and they will retrieve your information from there. After they get your info, they will put together a "Funding Plan" that outlines what their school has awarded you to pay your tuition. These funding plans can differ from school to school, as some schools may have certain funds available that others don't. Some schools will have certain scholarships that other schools don't. Try and narrow your decision down to maybe three schools and ask your Admissions Counselor can you speak with someone in Financial Aid to get some general information before you make a decision to move forward.
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Meghana
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Andy’s Answer

Yes, after receiving decision from the university, you will be able to see the amount of financial aid that the college offers you. Once accepted usually they would give you a break down of how much you received for scholarships and how much the college/university gives you. Personally when I applied to colleges all the university that accepted me told me how much cost of tuition would be after all the financial aid and scholarships that I have received. They would break it down for you and show you how much tuition and everything would cost.
Thank you comment icon Got it, thanks! Meghana
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Alex’s Answer

The cost of a 4 year college degree is a sizable investment so carefully evaluating the costs to find the college that fits best is important. There are many useful free webpages that allow prospective students to compare college costs like tuition, room and board, in state / out of state tuition, etc. College Simply (https://www.collegesimply.com/) is, as the name states, a simple webpage that includes cost, school enrollment, % of applicants that receive aid, and much more. Also, be sure to ask the financial office if any of the awards and grants renew automatically every year, of if the grant is for only 1 year, or will vary over the course of your education. A good college education is more than just tuition, it can set the basis for a lifelong career or help students discover a totally different path and it can never be taken away.
Parent of 3 college tuitions - 2 graduated after 4 years with manageable debt, the other is a college junior with 2 tuition payments left.

Alex recommends the following next steps:

Identify colleges of interest
Compare college size, location, enrollment, and costs and like for like
Plan college visits after narrowing down options
Ask questions - you should feel the college you choose is dedicated to your success as a student
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking time to answer it. Thank you! Meghana
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Chirayu’s Answer

Yes, after receiving your decision from the university, you should be able to see the amount of financial aid they are offering. Most universities will provide you with a financial aid award letter along with your acceptance letter. This letter will outline the types and amounts of financial aid that the university is offering you, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. You can use these financial aid award letters to compare the amount of aid that each university is offering you. Keep in mind that the amount and types of financial aid offered can vary widely between universities, so it's important to carefully review each award letter to determine which offer is the best fit for you. Additionally, you may want to reach out to the financial aid offices at each university to ask any questions you may have about the financial aid award letter or to discuss your financial situation in more detail. They may be able to provide you with additional information or options for financing your education.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Meghana
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Gabriel’s Answer

Greetings! First off, thank you for taking the time to ask questions. I did not have a lot of guidance when I went in to college initially. A great part of it was that things had changed a lot since my parents went to college.
My esteemed virtual colleagues have given you great advice. As someone who has worked in financial aid for twenty years…all in not-for-profit (full disclosure)…I would like to offer an additional perspective. Please take it with a grain of salt…but in hopes of you being an informed-consumer…

Colleges and Universities will normally extend award letters upon your acceptance. Depending on whether or not you filled out a FAFSA (fafsa.gov…free plug) that might affect the timing. Please keep in mind that your award letter will be limited to what the school knows. If you are an athlete but have not filled out an intent form, if you took the SAT/ACT and scores have not yet been sent to that school or you are a member of Phi Theta Kappa…again, depending on the school…the important thing is that if you have a serious drive or intent to attend a specific school…make sure your admissions counselor is in the loop.

Specifically, to your question about comparing award letters, no college can help you do that. I hope, for your sake, that you have a supportive family system. And you can all sit around the table and look over award letters…please just keep in mind something that I have run into, on more than one occasion. It is not necessarily based on School A saying they’ll give you $5,000 and School B saying they’ll give you $12,000. School B sounds better in that example, but if their tuition and charges are four times greater than School A it is easy for the waters to get muddied. Ask about what your out-of-pocket costs are going to be. Go to your prospective school websites and search for “net-price-calculator”. Depending on their set-up it will vary…but it still is a good basic resource.

Award letters…most schools send out via e-mail these days. If there are certain schools you are seriously interested in, please make sure they have a valid e-mail on file…and please check it! I mention this only because I live in Chicago and there are many school systems that shut down your school-based e-mail the day after you graduate. So the university I work for will try to send an e-mail…but you might not be able to access it. Also, if you have a personal e-mail…if you choose to apply for scholarships through fastweb or scholarships.com…please consider setting up an e-mail specifically for that purpose. Never pay to apply for a scholarship. The reason it is free is that there may be some inadvertent junk mail, but we’ve found that kids who tie it to their personal, everyday e-mail tend to unsubscribe. So…set up one just for that purpose and slog through it once a week. Some good might come from it!

I pray your parents don’t want my head for sharing this. And I hope you know my heart is in the right place. My wife and I have a ten-year-old daughter. It sounds cliché, but I want her to have a better life than I did. PLEASE…just don’t make the mistake I did. Do NOT take a “semester off”. Not sure of the major you are pursuing (coughacocuntingcoughgood avenue...full disclosure, I was originally a theatre ed major). I don’t want to sound like a wagging-finger; I don’t have the right to be one. Just please finish what you start. The fact that you’re asking questions now makes you stronger than I was. I have two Master’s Degrees and I love what I do because I have to think on my feet. But stopping school because I was too insecure to ask for help…biggest regret of my life.

Apologies for rambling. I like Hemingway but I wrote my response more like Dickens. I have faith in you, and keep asking questions and seeking out help! You got this…
Thank you comment icon That was an amazing advice which helped me gain a new understanding! I couldn’t ask for better. Thank you so much! I wish well for you and your family! Meghana
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