Award Letters - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Award Letters

Each college you apply to creates an award letter, or financial aid package, after they get your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) results. This letter includes the types and amount of aid you qualify for. Each school's award letter may be different.

Here's what you need to know:

  • The amounts and types of aid you get will vary between schools. Each school bases their financial aid package on their school costs and other criteria.
  • The numbers in each letter are estimated and subject to change, especially if you used estimated numbers when you filled out the FAFSA.
  • Each letter may show a different combination of funds that do not need to be repaid (like scholarships and grants) and money that will need to be paid back at some point (loans).
  • Instructions will tell you if you need to sign the letter and return it by a certain date to reserve the funds. (Such a signature doesn't mean you have to attend that school; it just sets the money aside for you.)
  • Comparing different award letters can be confusing (understanding just one can be tricky). If you have questions, contact the school's financial aid office. ICAN can also help you; contact ICAN for an in-office appointment or advice over the phone.

Understanding Your Bottom Line

Having trouble getting a grasp on how much college will really cost you? Prepare to Pay for College (PDF) can help you decide how much out-of-pocket money you'll need for college.

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