Congratulations on your acceptance to King’s College! As you’re preparing for your upcoming college career as Monarch, it’s important to understand how you will finance your education and what to look for when comparing your financial aid offers.
Our three-part Understanding Financial Aid email series is delivered to students who have received their Financial Aid Offer and will help you navigate the final steps in your college-selection process.
Part 1: Unpacking Your Offer
This section explains your Financial Aid Offer, estimated direct costs, estimated indirect costs that aren’t charged to you, and scholarships and grants.
Financial Aid Award
Going to college is a significant investment and many students use aid to finance their education. By now, you should have received your official Financial Aid Award email. Your offer will show both the overall costs of attending King’s College and the estimated deductions of aid you are eligible to receive from King’s, the federal government, or your state. The information in your award is based on what was submitted on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and your application to King’s. Nearly all our students receive financial assistance, and last year, our average first-year offer was $32,613.
Estimated Direct Costs
At the top of your award, you will see Estimated Direct Costs. These are the typical charges you think of when attending college, which include tuition, fees, and room and board if you live on campus. Your Financial Aid Award shows these estimates before factoring in any scholarships or financial aid, so you understand the overall cost of your attendance. These items will show up on your bill.
|Tuition (including fees)||$41,600||$41,600|
|Room and Board||$14,646|
Estimated Indirect Costs
The reality is there are other costs associated with going to college that will not show up on your bill. We want you and your family to be prepared and factor in expenses for items like books, supplies, clothing, entertainment, and transportation. King’s College is not charging you for these items but includes estimates so you can budget wisely. Everyone will see a standard total of $2,600 on their Financial Aid Award in consideration of these expenses.
Scholarships and Grants
As part of your application process with the FAFSA, you were automatically considered for any possible scholarships and grants. King’s College scholarships are merit-based and renewable each year for up to four years. Grants are awarded based on financial need and can also come from King’s College (Grant-in-Aid, Legacy Grant, Sibling Grant) or the state or federal government (PHEAA State Grant, PELL Grant, or SEOG Grant). Both scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid. Hooray, for free money!
Part 2: Federal Loans and Work Study
This section explains your options to finance your education through federal aid programs, including Stafford Loans and work study.
Subsidized Stafford Loans
While scholarships and grants can be viewed as free money, loans need to be paid back with interest. Loans are often necessary to help cover remaining costs. The federal government offers two types of loans to eligible students who filed their FAFSA. Subsidized loans are need-based, and the interest is subsidized (or financed) by the government, meaning you do not accrue interest while you are in school. If eligible, your subsidized loan award will increase each year. If you choose to take this loan, repayment will begin six months after graduation.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
The other federal loan program is unsubsidized loans, which are offered to all eligible students regardless of financial need. Because these are awarded independent from need, unsubsidized loans do accrue interest while you’re attending school. If eligible, your unsubsidized loan award will increase each year. If you choose to take this loan, interest will either need to be paid quarterly while you’re in college or paid later at a higher cost. Repayment will begin six months after graduation.
Federal work-study, which is based on financial need, is offered to eligible students who filed their FAFSA. These work-study positions provide part-time, on-campus jobs to students. If awarded, this total aid amount will appear on your Financial Aid Award. When you start your semester at King’s, you can apply for a variety of student aide positions in academics, athletics, administrative offices, the library, IITS, science labs, and other roles. Your aid will then be disbursed with a bi-weekly paycheck. Because it’s not a loan, you do not have to repay this aid! You can use these funds to pay for education expenses or elect to apply your pay to your tuition bill.
If you do not qualify for federal work-study but have financial need, you still have another option. You can apply for an institutional work-study position, which is paid directly by King’s College and will not appear in your Financial Aid Award.
Part 3: Choosing My Institution
This section includes how to navigate the final steps in your college-selection process and what to look for when comparing your financial aid offers.
Supplementing Financial Aid
After factoring in any scholarships, grants, and financial aid, you’ll have your estimated out-of-pocket balance. You can further minimize this amount and your student loan borrowing by applying for private scholarships offered through businesses, foundations, or organizations. It will take a bit of work, but there are many opportunities out there! College Board and Fastweb are great resources to start your search.
If you have any savings built up for college, be sure to subtract this from your balance. Parents can also apply for a Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) that covers remaining costs—including those indirect expenses like books, a laptop, or transportation—while some families turn to private education loans to supplement their financial aid offers. We recommend this article from studentaid.gov to learn more about the differences in federal and private loan options.
And don’t forget, there are small ways you can save money along the way: renting textbooks, working part-time, prepping your own food to reduce your meal plan, or even double majoring to get two degrees for the price of one!
What to Consider When Comparing Offers
We know picking your college is a big choice, and finances are a huge component of what drives decisions if you’ve applied to multiple schools. But it’s also important to consider the overall value of your degree in terms of your experiences. Before you make your final selection, consider these points:
- The Bottom Line: The largest scholarship offer may not be the least expensive option if it's the most expensive institution on your list. You should look line by line to understand what is included and what is not as some institutions show optional loans that make your out-of-pocket cost seem lower than it is.
- Renewable Aid: Check if the aid in your offer can be renewed, increased, or decreased with each year’s FAFSA application. As much as you can, it’s helpful to plan for your entire college career, not just your initial award. Resources at studentaid.gov are extremely helpful in understanding the details of any debt you take on as a student.
- Hidden Costs: Some schools require you to live on campus longer, which will cost more money down the line. King’s requires students out of commuter range (45 miles) to only live on campus for their first two years. Compare each institution’s residence life policy, fees, and overall costs.
- Experiential Value: These next four years are formative! Consider the intangibles that don't have a price tag: your experiences outside of class, accelerated learning options, extracurriculars and leadership opportunities that will set you apart after graduation, or a powerful network of alumni.
We sincerely hope you will choose to become a Monarch. We firmly believe the value of a King’s education will extend well beyond your degree. If you have any questions or financial concerns, please reach out to your Admission Counselor as we’d be happy to help you navigate this important decision.