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How Long Does It Take to Get My Financial Aid Award Letter?
After getting accepted to a college or university, you are probably wondering how much it is going to cost you and your family. The financial aid award letter is the document that will help you understand your financial aid options at the college. Once you get accepted, you are probably wondering “how long does it take to get my financial aid award letter?”.
This is important, because you don’t want to enroll in a college without knowing what the cost is! Most colleges will require students to put down a non-refundable deposit to secure their spot in the freshman class.
However, the specifics of when you will receive your financial aid award letter depend on how you applied to the college or university.
Jump ahead to:
- Regular decision applicants
- Early decision and early action applicants
- What to do if you haven’t received your financial aid award letter
Keep on reading to learn more about when you can expect to receive your financial aid letter!
For students applying Regular Decision
If you have applied to a college under a Regular Decision admissions plan, you should expect to receive your financial aid award letter by the end of March. As students generally need to make an admissions decision by May 1st, you will have a month to assess your financial aid package and decide. Of course, this assumes that you met the FAFSA deadline and if applicable, the CSS Profile deadline.
For students applying Early Decision or Early Action
If you have applied under an early admissions plan, you will expect to receive your financial aid award letter in December or January. Note that the financial aid deadlines for early admissions plans are also earlier than deadlines for Regular Decision applicants.
What to do if you haven’t received your financial aid award letter
If you haven’t received your financial aid award letter within a few days of being accepted to a college, you should immediately get in touch with the colleges’ financial aid office. Many colleges also have online status portals where you can find your admissions acceptance letter, as well as your financial aid award letter.
If time is running out and the deposit deadline is coming up, you can reach out to the financial aid office to request an extension. While there are no guarantees that a college will grant you an extension, it is worth asking so that you have more time to assess your financial aid options.
The bottom line for students
Generally, you will receive your award letter around the time you receive your admissions decision (or a few days after). This will give you some time to compare your options and make the best possible decision. If you haven’t received your award letter, you will need to reach out to the college’s financial aid office for more info.
Additional resources for students receiving admissions decisions
If you’re waiting to hear back about your financial aid award letter, you are in an exciting point in the admissions process! You’ve got some important decisions ahead of you, and we can help you through them. To start off, we can help you out with our guide to interpreting financial aid award letters. If you find that the award is not sufficient for your financial situation, you can consider writing a financial aid appeal letter. This might lead to you earning more aid.
As you make the choice between colleges, you can also check out our guide to how to choose a college, and how to plan college tours. As you get down to the nitty-gritty financials, you might also wonder how much student loan debt is too much. Finally, check out our guide to navigating student loans to ensure you take out the ones with the best terms for you. Good luck!
Frequently asked questions about financial aid award letters
How do I appeal a financial aid award letter?
What will my financial aid award letter tell me?
Will my financial aid award letter be the same from every college?