Why Are My Offer Letters So Different from One Another?

Comparing your offer letters from different schools you’ve been accepted into is one of many factors that can help you make your final college choice and where you’ll attend. You can weigh how much aid each school is willing to give against other perks or drawbacks in order to narrow down the list.

But sometimes offer letters won’t look all that similar to each other. What gives? Why would one school offer you a lot of aid where another will offer little? Why would one emphasize student loans over scholarships and grants?

Colorful envelope icons swirling around.

So why do my offer letters look different?

This should come as no surprise, but all schools are different. No two schools have the exact same financial aid or admissions policy, so their offer letters may look entirely different. On top of that, the type of school that offered the letter might affect the type of aid or the amount by quite a bit. For example, private schools tend to offer their students more in the way of financial aid to offset the higher tuition costs, whereas in-state schools may not offer quite as much, but typically have lower sticker and net prices anyway.

They aren’t final.

But remember, these offer letters are not necessarily set in stone. Not only can you appeal an award for more aid, but you also don’t have to accept everything offered in the offer letter. It’s imperative that you compare and contrast offer letters from different schools, and do plenty of research to find the best financial aid package and path for you.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!


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