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How do I decide which college to attend based on financial aid packages?

Hey everyone! I'm a junior trying to plan ahead. When the time comes, how should I weigh the financial aid packages offered by different colleges in deciding where to attend? Is there a rule of thumb, or are there specific factors I should consider? Thanks for any guidance!

9 months ago

Hello! It's great that you're planning ahead. When it comes to comparing financial aid packages, there isn't a one-size-fits-all rule since every family's financial situation is unique. However, I can give you some factors to consider when making your decision.

First, look at the total cost of attending each college (tuition, fees, housing, food, etc.) and subtract the total financial aid provided by the school. This will give you your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) for each college, making it easier to compare direct costs.

Next, evaluate the type of financial aid provided and see if it consists of scholarships and grants (which you don't have to pay back) or loans (which you'll have to repay). Colleges with more scholarships and grants would be preferable to reduce future debt.

Lastly, consider the overall fit of each college, both academically and socially, to ensure your happiness and success during your college years.

You might find this CollegeVine blog post helpful when comparing financial aid packages: How to Evaluate, Compare, and Leverage Financial Aid.

Best of luck in your college journey!

9 months ago

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