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  Financial Aid Package
Once you have been admitted to a school, their financial aid office will create a financial aid package(aka award letter) for you to help meet your financial need for the academic school year. The award letter is sometimes called an aid "package" because it may include both self-help (i.e. loans and employment) and gift aid (i.e. scholarships and grants). The award letters are sent soon after admission letters are mailed to first-year and transfer applicants, usually around March or April.

Your financial aid packages will indicate your estimated Coat of Attendance, Expected Family Contribution, Terms and Conditions, and the types of financial aid and amounts you have been awarded. Many colleges and universities also offer additional scholarships and grants to college freshman and sophomores and then add on more student loans later in their college career. Students with lower financial needs are typically offered self-help aid. Students with greater financial needs are typically offered a combination of self-help and gift aid.

Each school’s financial aid package may be different in the award amount, type of aid, and sources used. You will receive different levels of financial aid based on your individual circumstances such as: your EFC, demonstrated financial need, dependent or independent status, enrollment status (full or part-time), whether or not you will attend school for a full academic year or less, the school’s financial aid policies, and availability of funds.

Most financial aid awards are based on the assumptions that you will enroll as a full-time student for both semesters. If you enroll as a part-time student, some of your financial aid awards may be reduced or cancelled. All of these variables will affect your financial aid package.

Your financial aid package will typically include aid from a combination of sources and programs such as:
1. Scholarships and Grants (Gift Aid)
Sources: Federal and State government, Institutional, Private Foundations, Organizations, Employers, etc.
2. Loans (Self-Help Aid)
Sources: Federal and State government, Institutional, Employers, Private Lenders, etc.
3. Work-Study (Self-Help Aid)
Sources: Federal and State government, and Institutions

The award letter is generally broken down by semester. When you receive your financial aid package, read the instructions carefully to make sure that you understand all the terms and conditions to decide if you want to accept all, parts, or none of the financial aid offered. You do not have to accept all parts of the financial aid listed on your award letter. However, if you decline some parts of the financial aid awarded to you (i.e. work-study or loan), the school will not replace it with a scholarship or grant.

Generally, the financial aid office has already awarded you the maximum amount possible. If you have any questions about your financial aid package, contact the school’s financial aid office. Be sure to have all of your questions answered, before declining any parts of your financial aid package.

Additional forms (i.e. loan applications) may be included with your financial aid package. If additional forms are included, be sure to complete all of the forms as necessary). If the school requests additional documentation, provide them as soon as possible. Your application may be considered incomplete, if the financial aid office does not received the requested documents. Failure to submit or complete these forms correctly will cause a delay in the processing of your financial aid, and possibly result in receiving reduced aid.

Read additional topics regarding your financial aid package:
Deadline Date
Unmet Need
Special/Unusual Circumstances

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Financial Aid Package (continues)



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