Compare two financial aid packages

Which financial aid offer works for your needs?

Max, a military veteran, and his wife Brianna both want to go to college to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Max is able to pay for all of his college expenses at a university in his state using the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Brianna has applied for financial aid and is comparing the amount of annual financial aid that two universities are offering. Max will also transfer a portion of his Post 9/11 GI Bill to Brianna to help offset the expense.

Two financial aid offers

Costs and financial aid University A University B
Cost of attendance* $10,000 $18,000
Civilian financial aid
  • Pell grant
$2,200 $2,600
  • State grant
$2,200 $2,000
  • University grant
$500 $5,200
  • Federal work-study
$1,000 $2,400
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
$2,000 $3,800
Total financial aid $7,900 $16,000
Military education benefit    
  • Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill to Brianna
$2,100 $2,000
Total financial aid and military benefits $10,000 $18,000

*Cost of Attendance (COA) = the total cost of full time education for one year

Notice the unsubsidized Stafford loans being offered. Let’s say Brianna takes the $2,000 loan each year for four years at a 6.8% fixed interest rate for 10 years. If she attends University A, she’ll need to pay $117 a month for 10 years after she graduates. At University B, if she takes the $3,800 loan, she’ll have to pay $223 a month for 10 years — almost double!

Note: The Department of Education coordinates federal financial aid, but the process requires other people and organizations: you; your family; the schools or programs you’ve applied to; U.S. and state governments; your bank.

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