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Interpreting Your Financial Aid Award

One degree with many ways to pay.

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Once you are accepted to a university and you fill out the FAFSA - the free application for federal student aid - you will soon receive your complete financial aid award package. This will let you know how much you will pay for college out-of-pocket. This page will help you think through some potential ways you can pay for the remaining costs.

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Federal Loans

Federal loans can be a helpful resource in meeting need. You can qualify for federal loans when you fill out the FAFSA. These loans are taken out in the student’s name. If you qualify for subsidized loans versus unsubsidized loans, the government pays the interest on the loans while the student is enrolled, and for six months after graduation.

Parents can also apply for a parent plus loan to cover the remaining costs of attendance after all other aid.

Work Study

Work study is another way to offset some unmet need. Work study is paid employment offered by the university to the student. The student typically receives this aid in the form of a paycheck – just like any other job. It’s not automatically deducted from tuition.

Debt

Debt is an important factor to consider. Experts suggest your total debt after four-years shouldn’t surpass the average salary of a first-year college graduate, which is about $40,000.

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