Tackle college aid by sifting minutiae
Most families sort through stress and find solutions
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
It’s panic time in many American homes as parents struggle to evaluate the financial aid packages for their soon-to-be college freshmen children — and figure out what to do if they don’t get enough.
This rite of spring is triggered when colleges and universities begin mailing financial aid award letters, which give incoming students a breakdown of the amount of grants, scholarships, work-study jobs and federal loans they can expect.
Comparing the various offers — and appealing for reviews from campus aid offices — can be daunting, as is figuring out how to finance the rest. But most families work things out, experts say.
Joyce recommends three Web sites where families can look for scholarships and other financial aid information. The sites are: www.finaid.org, www.collegeboard.com and www.fastweb.org. And Sallie Mae maintains the online site www.collegeanswer.com that has a calculator families can use to compare college aid packages.