New Tool Helps Students Decipher Confusing College Financial Aid Offers


Iowa City, Iowa. 

Student frustrated with confusing offer letter

New Tool Helps Students Find Their Best College Deals by Deciphering Otherwise Confusing College Financial Aid Offers

Just in time for college acceptance season, College Raptor® launches a best-in-class solution to help families compare the true costs of different colleges.

So you or your child got accepted into multiple colleges? Great! 

Except – as most quickly realize – the language in college financial aid offers is often complex and confusing. Each college structures its letters differently, which can make the process of comparing offers challenging.

College Raptor’s new Offer Letter Comparison Tool sorts through the clutter. Simply upload the letters, and College Raptor does all the hard work: highlighting the grants and scholarships, actual net price, loans, and out-of-pocket costs.

“We founded College Raptor to create transparency around the true cost of college – a critically-important concern of students and parents,” said Bill Staib, CEO and co-founder. “Our Offer Letter Comparison Tool enables each family to get an accurate comparison before finalizing their college decision.”

A college discovery site that utilizes next-generation artificial intelligence, College Raptor already helps millions of parents and students discover great college options annually. Raptor® matches colleges to students’ goals and clarifies each school’s actual net price – which is often significantly different from the “sticker price.”

Why is a Tool to Understand Offer Letters Important?

Understanding offer letters is essential because these documents detail the school’s scholarships and grants and often give hints about the net price. Colleges format their offer letters a little bit differently. It can be frustrating for families to try and decipher them all. That’s where Raptor’s new offer letter comparison tool comes in handy. The tool extracts vital information and displays it in a clear, easy to understand way. 

Knowing each school’s cost, the amount of scholarships and grants, and potential debt can greatly influence a student’s choice. The offer letter comparison details which schools are affordable to a student and which may be too pricey.

What Sets Raptor’s Tool Apart

“Raptor’s Offer Letter Comparison tool is quick, convenient, and easy to use. Students can upload their offer letters from their phone, tablet, or desktop. They can even text their offer letter to us!” says Staib.  “Using artificial intelligence, Raptor ‘reads’ each offer letter, compares it with the student’s financial circumstances, and provides an accurate report of net price and estimated debt at graduation. Our system also suggests whether a student’s projected debt load is reasonable for the amount of salary they are likely to earn upon graduation.”

Students can focus on the results rather than waste time finding data and trying to compare definitions across offer letters on their own. They also maintain control of their personal information and can easily redact any sensitive data.

Perhaps best of all, the tool is free to use. 

Check it out at

What are school counselors saying?

On the importance of comparing offer letters, Carla Choate, Counselor of Beebe High School in Beebe, Arkansas, had this perspective: “I think understanding the college award letter is critical. So many of my students are first-generation college students, and hearing the word scholarship makes them think they have no cost to go. But, of course, that is hardly ever true, and when they realize that, it’s often so far into the college decision-making process that it’s too late. The more transparent a school can be in the amount of the scholarship, how and when it will be disbursed, and what they must do to meet renewal requirements, the better. The same goes for what the student’s cost will be. I applaud College Raptor for making an easy-to-use solution to simplify and improve the college shopping experience.

Brett Karkosh, Counselor of Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Iowa, says, “College Raptor’s Offer Letter Comparison tool is a great way for students to compare price tags for colleges when narrowing down their decision for college. Many students face financial barriers that prevent them from going to college or fear college debt. As with any financial decision, it’s important to compare the cost and make sure students weigh out their options before making a final choice. Awards letters give students the financial data to help make this decision and compare scholarships, grants, and financial aid.”

About College Raptor, Inc.

College Raptor® leverages artificial intelligence to empower students, parents, counselors, and colleges to make informed college planning and financing decisions. Raptor® is the only college search platform that enables students and families to discover quality, affordable college options based on personalized financial aid estimates, academic match, and campus fit at every four-year college in the country. As a result, students and their families find cost-effective, academically-appropriate college options that prepare them for their lives and careers. For more information about College Raptor, visit