Guest Post by Liz Chereskin, Content Manager, College Greenlight
Congratulations on choosing a college! Now comes the more challenging part-- coming up with a plan for how to pay for college. A helpful tool for figuring out what you and your family need to contribute financially is your Financial Aid Award Letter. If you're accepted, have completed your FAFSA and listed the school on it, you should have now received an award letter from the college. The FAFSA helps to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which, in turn, helps to determine how much aid you'll need, or if you'll need to seek out other ways to fund your education.
While each school's letter may look a little different, they each will have information about the Cost of Attendance (COA), how much your family is expected to contribute (based on your FAFSA), how much financial aid you'll receive from the school, and how much is left over that you will be expected to cover. While that sounds simple enough, it might be a little more difficult to decipher which parts of the letter are scholarships, loans, or other types of aid such as work study and this information is extremely important--you'll have to pay back those loans (with interest!)