Sample Financial Aid Letter

Although college financial aid award letters may vary by design, a sample letter is included below for illustrative purposes. Award letters may include the Cost of Attendance (COA) for the academic year as well as a list of any financial aid programs the student has been awarded.  At the right is a sample award letter:

The above letter is just a sample to give you an idea of what an award letter looks like and what type of information you may be given on a financial aid award letter. It is important to review letters very carefully.

Types of Financial Aid

There are four basic types of financial aid available for college:

  1. Grants: free money
  2. Scholarships: free money
  3. Federal Work-Study employment opportunities: you can use the money you earn to help pay your college costs
  4. Loans: money you have to pay back – with interest

Grants, scholarships and awards do not have to be paid back.

Colleges often award grants to help make up the difference between college costs and what a family can be expected to contribute through income, savings, loans, and student earnings. Awards may be based on academic merit, artistic or athletic talent, financial need or other factors.

You can learn more about the types of financial aid awarded by each college by visiting their websites.

It is important to always explore the “free money” opportunities available to you before taking out a student loan and remember to borrow conservatively.

College Award Letter

The colleges where you have been accepted and you have indicated on your FAFSA will send you an award letter which will detail the financial aid you can expect if you attend that school.

Consider the offer outlined in each college award letter, which may include grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs. Make sure you know what is a grant award and what is a loan. Examine each award to determine if it applies for more than the first year and if there are conditions to receiving or continuing the award – such as maintaining a certain GPA, declaring a certain major, or living on campus.

Compare financial aid packages offered by each school. Use NCFC’s Financial Award Packages Comparison Tool as a guide. Or use The College Board’s comparison worksheet.

When you have chosen a school, tell the financial aid office that you accept or reject all or part of the financial aid package. Complete any other forms required by the school.

Salina Area Technical College


Ms. Sally Student

123 Coldstone Avenue

SampleTown, MA 00099

Expected Family Contribution: $

We have received your financial aid application and are pleased to offer you the financial aid awards listed below.  Your eligibility for financial assistance is based on your: cost of attendance (which includes tuition and fees and an allowance for room and board, travel, and miscellaneous personal expenses), enrollment status, and expected family contribution (EFC) from your FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid).

Please review this information and contact the financial aid office with any questions.  Make sure that the Award Letter includes all scholarships and other aid.  If it does not, contact the Financial Aid Office and report any and all scholarships or other aid.

Please accept or decline all, or a portion, of your aid by date by filling out the Financial Aid Acceptance Form.  After this date, your awards will be automatically cancelled.

The financial aid award illustrated in this letter is an estimate based on your enrollment status for the academic year.  We reserve the right to review and modify this award at any time because of changes in your financial status, eligibility requirements, additional scholarships, federal funding level revisions to maintain your compliance with Title IV and/or any other events unknown at this time.




Pell Grant




Federal Direct

Subsidized Loan




Federal Direct

Unsubsidized Loan




If you are accepting Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds from SATC, you will be required to complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (even if you did this at another school or at SATC for a previous year), in order to receive your funding.  Both items can be completed at:

Awards will be applied to your tuition and fees for the payment periods in which you are enrolled.  If your enrollment status changes due to withdrawal, dismissal, graduation, or course changes, such as adding/dropping classes, your awards may be changed or canceled.  You must provide all required documents to the College to receive your aid.  In addition, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress as stated in the College catalog.

If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 785-309-3147.

Sincerely, Your Student Services Staff