What is a Financial Aid Offer Letter?

Your financial aid offer will provide you with the financial aid that you can receive a particular college or school. The offer includes different types and amounts of aid from federal, state, private and institutional sources. It is important that you read and understand your financial aid offer.

What do the different parts of the offer letter mean?

Estimated Cost of Attendance

Your financial aid offer includes information about the cost of attendance, which is the estimated amount you will pay to the school directly as well as other costs you may incur while enrolled in school. When reviewing your financial aid offer, you will want to ensure that you understand the two types of costs:

1. Direct / Billable Costs

Direct costs are paid directly to the college, such as tuition and fees (i.e., technology fees, activity fees, lab fees, course fees, etc). These are costs for which you will be billed by the college each term you attend.

2. Indirect / Other Costs

Indirect costs are expenses that may be necessary to attend college, such as transportation (car, gas, bus), textbooks, school supplies (notebooks, pens, paper), technology (computer, phone, Wi-Fi), living expenses (food and housing), and miscellaneous and personal expenses (clothing, laundry, toiletries, health insurance, etc.). Montco does not bill you for these, but they are important to include when you are budgeting for college.

Your actual financial aid award

Your offer letter will include the federal, state, and institutional aid for which you may qualify. The different types of aid include:

3. Grants & Scholarships / Awards / Gift Aid

This section will list the grants and scholarships you have been offered. This is free money that you don’t have to pay back, funded by the federal or state government, private entity, or the college. The awards are broken down by term and include the total awarded for each term and the full academic year.

You should always accept 100% of your gift aid because it’s free money!

4. Federal Work Study

You might see Federal Work Study on your offer letter. This is money available to compensate you for part-time employment at the College. For more information about the Federal Work Study program, including how to apply for jobs, please click HERE.

5. Loans

A loan is money you or your parent borrow for your education-related expenses and need to pay back with interest (a percentage “fee” for borrowing). The loans on your award letter may be Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, and Private Student Loans. The amounts offered will be broken down per semester. Since loans need to be repaid, we encourage you to be a responsible borrower and only accept the amount you need for your school-related expenses. For more information about student loans, please click HERE.


Tuition & Cost of Attendance (COA)

Course Fees

Cost Calculator

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