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ahk7

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Apr 7, 2017
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What should I expect for a financial aid package? If all my expenses are covered by loans from FAFSA, is that a good package if I don't need to go to outside sources? I know getting grants and scholarships are the best options.
 

KnightDoc

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Mar 14, 2019
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What should I expect for a financial aid package? If all my expenses are covered by loans from FAFSA, is that a good package if I don't need to go to outside sources? I know getting grants and scholarships are the best options.
Well, yeah! :) Good financial aid is whatever makes it possible for you to attend.

FAFSA doesn't provide loans. It's just a data collection service that the schools use, in conjunction with whatever else they use, to determine your resources and your financial need. EVERYONE is eligible for unsubsidized federal loans to cover the full COA anywhere in the country (other than certain outliers that do not participate in the federal loan program), so that's not really a good package. That's what everyone gets (a combination of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, up to a limit in the low to mid 40s, depending on the school and your year, and Federal PLUS Loans for the balance). There are also a wide variety of private alternatives.

Outside sources are usually defined as outside your family, since federal loans DO have to be paid back, with interest that begins accruing the minute you receive the money. And, yes, grants and scholarships ARE the best options, and are usually what people refer to as "good" aid.
 

IlDestriero

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A good financial aid package would be significant scholarship money/tuition waiver/grant/whatever that decreases your loan burden by a significant amount.
Nearly any US citizen applicants will qualify for 100% of the estimated annual costs in loans, even if you and/or your family have significant assets. That’s a bad aid package as it’s really no aid at all.
But your 100% loan aid letter will begin with, “Congratulations, ...”
What’s good? 30%, 50%?
Great would be anything that approached 100% of the estimated costs of attendance.
 
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