What financial assistance will I receive?
You can estimate the amount of financial assistance you could get so that you are ready when your financial assistance award letter arrives. There are two main tools that can help you assess your potential help: the FAFSA4caster and the Net Price Calculators.
This tool from the Department of Education helps you estimate what federal financial assistance you will be entitled to, such as Pell scholarships, work-study programs and direct loans. You can use the FAFSA4caster before submitting a free application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
You must answer questions related to your eligibility for financial aid to get a result. Finally, you will need to reference financial documents, such as federal tax information and bank statements.
Based on your answers, you will receive an estimate of the federal Pell Grant amount, work study maximum federal direct loan amount and eligibility.
However, the FAFSA4caster does not give you a complete picture of the help you will receive from the state or colleges you are applying to. You must enter the estimated amounts of state and college aid, as well as any stock Exchange the amounts.
Also, the generosity of certain federal aid programs, such as work-study programs, differs from one school to another depending on the funding available. This means that the FAFSA4caster primarily gives you an early overview of your eligibility for Pell Grants.
Net price calculators
The “sticker price” you find on a school’s website doesn’t exactly reflect what you’ll end up paying. The net price, or the amount you have to pay after you factor in scholarships and grants, is a more useful metric.
A net price calculator will tell you how much help you are likely to receive for attending a particular school. This amount could include federal Pell Grants as well as state and school grant funding.
But net price calculators don’t always show you exactly how much of each you will receive. This is why it is useful to obtain an estimate of your potential Pell Grant from the FAFSA4caster.
Most colleges include net price calculators on their websites, but the tools are not always easy to find. Find a calculator using the Department of Education Net price calculation center.
Once you have an idea of the financial help you can expect, you can better determine your debt to pay for your college education.
A good rule of thumb is to not borrow more than 10% of the projected monthly after-tax income during your first year out of school. For example, if you plan to earn $ 40,000 in your first year in college, borrow less than $ 21,000 to keep your payment affordable. Use a student loan accessibility calculator to find out how much to borrow.
You can also get an overview of typical graduate total debt and monthly loan payments at specific schools using the Department of Education. University scorecard.