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Weighing Your College Offers

If you're reading this, then you've probably applied to schools, been accepted to a few, and maybe you've started receiving financial aid offers. Once your student aid offers come in, you’ll be ready to start planning how each school will support your education or career training dreams. 

VSAC knows the college decision process can be just as overwhelming as the search process. That’s why we've broken down the decision process into 3 steps: 

  1. Understanding your financial aid offers
  2. Crunching the numbers
  3. Weighing your options & making your decision

VSAC wants you to feel confident and empowered when comparing financial aid packages. We also know that students and families want to enjoy education at the lowest cost possible. Reviewing and choosing the best offer eases the financial burdens that college can cause.

Wherever you’re at with your higher education decision process, we’ve outlined three steps to make your final decision easier.

Note: The new FAFSA system and FSA data processing for the 2024-202' academic year may result in delays for some financial awards. For the latest FAFSA updates read our blog on On hold: Waiting on the FAFSA, waiting on student aid offers.

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1. Understanding your financial aid offers 


College admission time is an exciting moment in life! Whether you were part of early decision or have colleges accepting you on a rolling basis, the next steps you take will have an amazing impact on your life.

After acceptance letters, financial aid offers from each school are on their way. Each offer is based on your FAFSA information, along with other forms you've been asked to submit. Each financial aid offer will be different, and each school has different financial aid policies for offering money.

There's a lot to understand, but we've made it easier by laying out some of the most important steps when you're weighing your options. Understanding your offers is the first step.


Understand your offers 

How to understand your financial offers 

2. How to crunch the numbers


After reviewing your financial aid offers, separate grants or scholarships that don't require repayment from loans that you'll need to repay.

We’ve created a comprehensive financial aid comparison tool to make comparing your offers and costs easier.

Since each school uses different language and formats in their financial offer, our tool will give you a consistent assessment of each school's cost to you, and will help you understand what additional amounts you may need to pay out-of-pocket.


Determine your costs

How to crunch the numbers

3. Making your decision


Choosing the right college for you takes a lot of thought. It isn’t just the cost but also the distance from home, major and program options, career services, extracurricular activities, class sizes, student body, and the type of campus environment (school size, city style) you want to experience while studying.

While you're prioritizing your perfect college or career training wish list, use our College Comparison Chart to start considering what matters to you while in school. And once you’re ready to choose, the next journey in your life begins!


Finalize your choice

Making your decision

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