What do I need to know about college award letters?

So your teen has been accepted to college. Congratulations!

This is an incredibly exciting time for your family. All kinds of college mail is coming to your house. If your kiddo got into his or her top school, the first instinct might be to rush to commit to the school and fill out all the pretty housing forms.

I mean, all the other kids at school are committing to their top choices. And your child doesn’t want to miss out on getting into a good dorm now…right?

Hang tight for a minute. Don’t let your teen get too excited and rush into committing to a school just yet. Remember–it’s not like the school is going to change it’s mind! Your child is IN!

But YOU GUYS might change your minds. After you take a look at the award letters.

Award letters. They should be pretty straightforward–right? We wish. We liken these letters to settlement statement on a house–but honestly, they can be even trickier than those.

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Especially when your 17 or 18 year old is supposed to decipher them.

Colleges make these letters confusing on purpose. For example, by not including loan interest rates…or even using the words “student loans.”

At College Liftoff, we offer our clients a comprehensive award letter workshop to help decode these letters. For example, we help your family:

-Identify scholarship and grant sources that you will receive as “free money” from the university.
-Identify various loan programs, and help you decide which ones to choose or decline.
-Calculate how much you will pay out of pocket for each school
-Prepare you for follow-up discussions with admissions and financial aid officers.

So remember–it doesn’t hurt to wait a month or two before committing to a school. Take this time to breathe, and visit the school if you haven’t yet. You’re not doing it wrong–everyone else committing before their award letters come in is putting the cart before the horse.

We have so much more advice for you. Contact us anytime with any questions you may have about acceptance letters, award letters, or any college-related question.


College Liftoff is Ohio’s premier college planning firmSince 2009, College Liftoff has helped hundreds of teens find their best-fitting colleges and career paths, while saving their families more than $30 million in higher education costs.  College Liftoff’s motto is “securing your son or daughter’s brightest future…and saving you thousands of dollars along the way.” Let them do the same for  you.

Call 614-329-6633 or visit collegeliftoff.com.