Mar 14, 2017 12:15 PM EDT
If you are about to enter college and have been accepted to a number of colleges, one of your biggest dilemma could be choosing and deciding the college to attend. And one of the things you might need to consider in your decision making is the financial offer of each of those institutions.
If you find it a bit difficult to read and understand what your financial aid letters say, here are some tips to keep you guided.
Break down the components
The first thing you will have to do is to separate scholarships and grants from student loans, according to CNBC. This way, you will be able to come up with the true cost of how much money you will be getting out of your own pocket because you will not have to repay scholarships. Your calculation will show the difference that you can use for your comparison of offers.
Focus on the net cost
The net cost or the net price is the cost of the attendance minus the total amount of financial aid offered by the school, according to Smart Asset. Loans will eventually have to be paid back after graduation, so you have to make sure to come up with the right calculation to determine which college makes the best financial offer.
Know what the is included in the college cost's estimate
Check the breakdown of the college cost and see if it includes other expenses like the transportation or the travel costs to and from your college, the tuition, board, room, etc. Then consider other expenses which are not included so you can see which college has the better offer.
Think about the long term
Instead of thinking about the benefits of the offer for a year, think about how it will be helpful in the years after your first year in college. Also check if there are other requirements such as meeting the minimum GPA.
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