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Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer

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Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer

Congratulations on receiving your financial aid offer! This resource will help you have a better understanding of the sources of financial aid you have been awarded. If you still have questions, reach out to your schools financial aid office for additional support.

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Virtual Sessions

Stay tuned for 2023-24 virtual sessions. In the meantime, you can view a recording of the presentation.

Types of Financial Aid

A source of financial aid that does not have to be repaid and is based on demonstrated need in your FAFSA. These could be Federal, State, College or Community Foundation awards. 

A source of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Scholarships may be awarded based on any number of criteria, such as academics, achievements, club participation, hobbies, talents, and affiliations with various groups, or career aspirations. These could be Federal, State College or Community Foundation awards.

A need-based student employment program, in which eligible students work part-time and earn payroll wages to help fund their education related expenses. These are Federal awards. 

Loans are included as an optional funding source for students and their parent(s), who promise to repay a specified amount, including applicable interest. These could be Federal loans and/or Private loans each with different interest rates and repayment options/requirements. The video and links below highlight more details. 

What Do My Awards Mean?

You may have been awarded a few different types of financial aid in your letter, use the search below to find a description of what they mean. If you still need additional clarification for a specific award on your letter, reach out to your financial aid office at the school that the letter came from. 

Debt/Salary Wizard

Decide how much you can borrow using the Mapping Your Future: Debt/Salary Wizard.
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Responsible Borrowing Video

Responsible Borrowing

It's important to be a responsible borrower when it comes to going to school.


Find out what to expect when it’s time to repay your student loan or parent loan.
Repayment Video

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Life-Long Financial Literacy