Parent College Coach Tip #56: Lock and Load for the Award Letters

award lettersCollege acceptances for regular admission will be posted and arriving soon. Just a little later, will come the financial aid award letters. Before you and your student have to make the final college choice and before the financial aid awards arrive, it’s time to lock and load.

1. Revisit colleges that have offered admission

Early spring is the perfect time to revisit the colleges that have offered admission. If possible, attend an admitted student session, stay on campus overnight, or just revisit to help your student refresh his memory of the setting and the students.

2. Discuss money

If you haven’t already done so, discuss what you will contribute and what your student will contribute toward the cost of college.

University Parent has two great articles that address this topic:  The Money Talk Part 1: Setting expectations with your student and The Money Talk Part 2: Put college funding into high gear!

3. Take a look at your 2nd, 3rd and 4th choice colleges

Before the offers arrive, take a look at your student’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th choice colleges. If necessary, revisit them. Re-examine why these colleges made the list and take a closer look at their offerings.

4. Understand the components of the award letter

Before you start receiving those financial aid offers, you should understand what’s in a typical award letter. Thankfully, there are tools available and information to help you look at these letters for what they are: the college’s pitch for your student to accept their offer of admission.

Author: Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer advises parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation at She is excited to share her knowledge with the readers of Smart College Visit.

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