Skip to content

Paying for College: From the Financial Aid Award Letter to Writing the Check

Feb 13, 2019

Parents, stay tuned to this content series helping you with key info on college funding to help make affordable choices.

A financial aid award letter is just the first clue to how much college will cost a family – but it’s not the final answer.

Over the next several weeks, My College Corner will post articles and three free, short videos to help parents understand:

  • The components of a Financial Aid Award Letter
  • How to estimate the total cost they can expect
  • All of the options to pay for college – not just savings and student loans
  • The ins and outs of student and parent loans

My College Corner will share videos from Vimeo including:

February 13th:   Scott Maciag shares his college guidance expertise with My College Corner host John Hupalo to discuss Financial Aid Award Letters.  Is the total amount of aid you’re getting a good deal?   John and Scott cover the following:

  • Review an actual financial aid award letter
  • Show you how to identify the free money (grants and scholarships), earned aid (work-study) and loans
  • Explain the difference between sticker price, net price and total cost of a college
  • Talk about how to appeal a Financial Aid Award letter
  • Offer practical tips to parents
  • Available on Vimeo Now

February 27th: John will use the total remaining cost identified in the first video to detail options to pay including:

  • Favorite options:
    • Parent and student savings
    • Student and parent income
    • Payment plans
  • Options requiring consideration:
    • Student loans
    • Parent loans
  • What to avoid:
    • Credit Cards
    • Withdrawals from retirement savings
  • Available on Vimeo Now


March 13th: John will focus on loans and share how he and his daughter chose a private loan.

  • Using the same financial aid award letter featured in the first video, John will discuss why the Federal Direct Student Loan program is best for undergraduates and offer tips on how to minimize borrowing.
  • John will then discuss the pros and cons of options for parents to borrow and offer tips on how he chose among the options:
    • Federal PLUS loans
    • Private credit loans
      • Variable-rate
      • Fixed-rate
    • Loans from retirement savings
  • Available on Vimeo Now