How do I understand my financial aid package and which tips and tricks can maximize my aid?
Look at free money first—scholarships, grants and merit aid. Then, work-study—job placement on campus or in the local community. And finally, loans—money plus interest paid back over time. Once you’re admitted, a college wants you to attend. Have your parents call the financial aid office. Present the most comprehensive picture of your family’s financial situation, including any changes. Ask a first-choice school to match another offer. Students often receive more aid. Awards may not be consistent for four years—you’ll need to reapply annually. Choose a college that’s an academic, social and financial fit for you.