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A College Students' Guide to Understanding Financial Aid Package

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Getting into college isn't as simple as what many people think it would be. After getting accepted into your dream college, the next thing will about trying to figure out how you will be able to pay for it, and this is where financial aid offers come in.

Financial aid offers can be anything from grants, scholarships, or loans that a student can qualify for in order to help them with the expenses in college. While these financial aid packages can be a little tricky, it is important for you to have a complete understanding on what you are being offered and what you are eligible for in the upcoming school year. If you do not know where to start, you're in the right place.

Here are the guidelines to help you get started.

Determine your total expenses

First thing that you should do is to look into the total cost of the attendance number the institution lists, according to Consumer Reports, then deduct the grants and scholarship so that you can come up with the net cost. You may also include your possible expenses.

Ask for more aid

You should never hesitate to ask for more aid if you think that the one that is offered to you does not meet your needs. If there is already a college that has given you a better offer, you can use it with your negotiation.

The amount of your financial aid could decrease after your freshman year

According to Forbes, some schools practice the so-called "frontloading of grants" which means that the money received by the student in the subsequent years of school is slowly decreasing. So you have to make sure that you find out which colleges actually practice this frontloading of grants.

Be mindful of the details

It is important to pay attention to the details and the fine print so see what strings are attached if your college is giving you a merit based grant or scholarship, because some schools actually demand for a very high GPA and if you fail to meet the standard, chances are you are not getting the grant after freshman year.

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