Did you receive a financial aid offer for music school? And are you still trying to figure out what it means?
You’re not alone – regardless of your major – says a report from New America, a non-profit think tank focused on innovative problem-solving, and UAspire, a non-profit whose focus is college affordability.
“Students and families confront a detrimental lack of information and transparency when making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives: paying for college,” the report states. It goes on to address the confusion generated by many schools’ financial aid letters. While some schools have made changes to their written offers, more work is needed. Proposed policy recommendations in the New America-UAspire report focus on creating standards for clear, consistent, transparent financial aid offers.
In the meantime, before accepting any school’s offer:
• Read the financial aid letter carefully. Have someone you trust read it also.
• Check the fine print – are students loans part of the offer? Are you ready to take those on and pay them back?
• Are there words and phrases you don’t fully understand in the letter? Get online to find out what they mean.
• Is work-study part of your offer? Do you know what that will entail and when you’ll be paid?
• What will you still need to pay at the start of the semester?
For more information, read: Confused By Your College Financial Aid Letter? You’re Not Alone.