Financial aid planning can be intimidating, and you may not know where to turn for answers. The financial aid officers at colleges and universities are there to help. The Associated Colleges of the Midwest suggests families ask the following questions:
• What kind of financial assistance does the college offer: need-based, merit-based or both?
• Can the college provide an early estimate of what our financial aid award might be?
• What forms are needed in order to apply?
• When are financial aid applications due?
• What student costs are taken into account by the financial aid office? Tuition, room, board, transportation? What about additional expenses such as books, fees, computers and personal expenses?
• What’s included in the comprehensive fee? For example, do students have to pay extra for computer time or to attend campus events (concerts, plays, films, lectures, athletic events, etc.)?
• When will we be notified about the amount of assistance we can expect?
• Does the institution have an appeal process to review special circumstances?