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How to Compare Financial Aid
and College Costs

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Find various topics in this blog, including personal finance, credit counseling, housing, budgeting and student loan help. Click here to speak with an NFCC-certified Consumer Credit Counselor.

By Lauralynn Schueckler

Hooray! Spring has finally arrived, and students all across the country are receiving college acceptance letters in the mail. It’s an exciting opportunity, but it comes with a lot of life changing decisions to make, like how to pay for it. Cracking the code on financial aid is a big (and often stressful) part of making that final decision, and it’s not always easy to figure out which school is giving you the very best deal. You may have to take on student debt to finance your dreams, but it shouldn’t have to be so nerve-racking.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created something that you can use to compare your financial aid packages, side-by-side. Their online tool is supported by data from thousands of schools that have provided the information to them about the costs of a college education. Compare Your Financial Aid Offers: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college/compare-financial-aid-and-college-cost/ You can compare offers from community colleges, associates programs, bachelors programs, certificate programs, and graduate programs to help you with this big decision. If you are a service member or a veteran, you can see how your GI Bill benefits can help with costs as well. Comparing your financial aid package is just one step in the overall college process.

If you need to research schools or apply for financial aid, check out more information on choosing a student loan, managing your college money, and understanding student loan repayment. You will probably receive many credit card offers in the mail now that you’re on your way to adulthood. It’s a good idea to brush up on your financial education so you know how to use that credit wisely. 

Lauralynn Schueckler is the Online Marketing Specialist at Advantage Credit Counseling Service. She is the author for Advantage CCS’s Blog called Dollars & Sense. Advantage Credit Counseling Service is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Contact Advantage Credit Counseling at 866.699.2227, or visit them online at www.advantageccs.org.

Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.

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