Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 349 The packaging of financial aid Almost all financial aid is awarded in the form of a package. To determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid, college financial aid administrators evaluate information from the following: 1) the student’s financial aid and/or scholarship application; 2) the Student Aid Report (SAR); and 3) the PROFILE (if it’s required). If it is determined that a student is eligible for aid, the financial aid office will put together a financial aid package for that student. Packages can be any combination of grants, scholarships, work-study, and/or loans. While every student would like to receive a financial aid pack- age in which all college costs are covered by grants and scholarships, most packages include loans. In some cases, the entire package may be made up of loans. It is important to not only look at the total amount of aid being awarded, but to also look at how the aid is distributed. Colleges would like to be able to meet the financial need of every student who applies for aid; however, they aren’t always able to do so. Many students, therefore, receive packages that don’t provide financial aid equal to their financial need. For example, if a student’s need is $8,000 and his award letter shows a total aid award of $5,000, then the student has an unmet need (or gap) of $3,000. Because family financial situations change from year to year, a financial aid package is only good for one year. Parents and students must reapply for need-based aid and complete a new FAFSA each year. Sara’s financial aid offers Sara applied for financial aid at two colleges. Both colleges cost $18,000 and both offered Sara a financial aid package worth $9,000. College X’s package includes $3,000 in grants, $3,000 in scholarships, and $3,000 in loans. College Y’s package includes $2,000 in grants, $1,000 in scholarships, and $6,000 in loans. College X is obviously offering Sara a better package.