As you evaluate your admission choices, comparing aid packages can be challenging as the language is not uniform from one school to another. As we noted recently, all financial aid packages are not equal.
You need to carefully review your packages to determine which school offers the most favorable arrangement. An aid package may appear very attractive upon first glance, but a more careful analysis may reveal otherwise. Another offer may actually be more favorable as you delve into the details.
A very insightful and helpful article ran in The Wall Street Journal this past weekend. In addition to outlining critical points to consider when comparing packages, the article also includes a number of helpful websites. These resources can guide you when trying to decipher the details of each package— which components are gift aid, including scholarships and grants and which are loans and will, therefore, require repayment. When comparing packages, it’s also essential to take into account loan repayment schedules.
Although you should take your time to fully understand your options, please take note of the notification dates and reply-by dates for individual schools. Don’t lose out on an aid opportunity because you missed a response deadline.