Diane Stemper, Executive Director of Financial Aid at The Ohio State University, returns today with the second of a two-part post on comparing financial aid awards so that students and their families can be wise consumers and better understand what they are being offered and signing on for. Yesterday Stemper laid out the vocabulary and content of financial aid award letters along with a step-by-step plan for comparing aid awards. You can see Part One of Stemper's post here. Today, she has more advice for students and families on understanding aid awards as smart consumers, as well as guidance for interacting with financial aid offices and a resource list for tools that can help families in the comparison process.
· Colleges may state they meet “full need” – sounds great, but how much of that is loans?
· Are parent loans listed as part of the financial aid award? If so, it may look like you have sufficient financial aid to meet your costs, but part of this could be debt that your parents are incurring on top of your own student loan debt.