Why You Have To Read Your Offer Letter Carefully

The offer letter that colleges send you contains crucial information about the aid you are being offered. A typical offer letter will provide details about the types and sources of financial aid available to you.

A white envelope pinned against a rainbow wooden board.

The Importance of Close Reading

While all offer letters are the same in that they contain important information about the aid you are being offered, these letters are not standardized. Every offer letter will be structured differently, which can often be confusing. Students may read one or two offer letters and just presume that all contain the same information. Doing this may result in you making an expensive mistake.

When you read your offer letter, you must do so carefully, paying attention to every little detail.


Highlights of an Offer Letter

There is a lot of information in an offer letter. Here are the most important elements to pay attention to.

Scholarship and Grant Aid

The offer letter will detail how much scholarship and grant aid the school is willing to give you. This may be the single most important part of the offer letter, and what you should compare to other school’s offers to determine which is the best deal for you.

Work Study

Do you qualify for work-study?

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) should be clearly stated in the letter. It will include things like room and board, meal plans, and textbooks, along with tuition fees and other costs.

Read Carefully

Read your offer letters carefully so you can make an accurate estimation of how much it will cost you to attend each college and ultimately decide which of the colleges you can actually afford to attend.

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