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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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FAFSA estimate accuracy?

Hey all, I was wondering if the FAFSA estimate we receive is accurate or if it usually changes when colleges give us our financial aid packages? Is it reliable enough to count on for college budgeting?

6 months ago

Hello! The FAFSA estimate is a useful tool for getting an idea of what you may be eligible for in terms of federal aid like grants, subsidized loans, and work-study programs. However, it may not always be completely accurate as it might not account for factors such as a school's specific financial aid policies, institutional aid, or potential scholarships that you may receive.

Each college or university may have its own financial aid formulas and available resources, which can lead to some variability in your actual financial aid offer. The FAFSA estimate is a good starting point for college budgeting, but I would encourage you to wait for your official financial aid packages from the colleges you are applying to or have been accepted to.

These offers will provide more accurate and detailed information about your expected family contribution, your expected financial aid, and any merit-based scholarships or institutional grants that may have been awarded to you. Once you receive your financial aid offer letters, you can use those figures for more precise budgeting and make informed decisions based on the actual aid offered.

In the meantime, consider looking into college net price calculators available on most college websites. These calculators take into account various factors such as family income, assets, and the price of attendance at the specific institution, and they provide an estimate of your potential financial aid package at that college.

Although not perfectly accurate, they can give you a better sense of what your financial aid might look like at different schools and help you refine your budget even before receiving your official financial aid notifications.

Good luck with your college planning and financial aid process!

6 months ago

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