Compare two financial aid packages

Take a look at these two financial aid offers. Which one looks better to you? Would you accept everything they’re offering?

Max is comparing the amount of annual financial aid two universities are offering, including the cost to his family. Notice that even though the total cost of University B is much higher, with the financial aid they’re offering, the cost to his family is a little lower than it is at University A.

Two financial aid offers

Costs and Financial Aid University A University B
Cost of Attendance* $10,000 $18,000
Pell Grant $2,200 $2,600
State Grant $2,200 $2,000
University Grant $500 $5,200
Work-study $1,000 $2,400
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans $2,000 $3,800
Total financial aid $7,900 $16,000
Total cost to family $2,100 $2,000

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

Notice the loans being offered. Let’s say Max takes the loan each year for four years at a 6.8% fixed interest rate for 10 years. If he attends University A, he’ll need to pay $117 a month for 10 years after he graduates. At University B, he’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 a team: you; your parents/guardians; schools you’ve applied to; U.S. and state governments; your bank.

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