Episode 9: "Understanding Financial Aid Award Letters"

So you—or your child—got accepted to college. Congratulations! But now the financial aid award letter arrives. What does it mean? How much aid are you really receiving? What if it’s not enough? Will you have to pay it all back? This discussion aims to clear up some of the many mysteries about financial aid letters. 

In this episode, NACAC’s Mary Stegmeir welcomes three experienced and knowledgeable guests to break down what the financial aid letters say and how to apply that information in real life: Tristen Black, associate director of admissions at the University of Oklahoma; Ja’Niah Downing, associate director of admission at Purdue University (IN); and Rachel Fishman from New America in Washington, DC.

Read the transcript.

Listen to the episode online or on Apple Podcasts.

"College Admissions Decoded" is sponsored by NACAC's National College Fairs. Start your college search for free at a National College Fair, hosted annually in over 90 cities across the country and internationally. Learn more at

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