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Financial Aid: How It Works

Helping You Afford College

Financial aid is intended to make up the difference between what your family can afford to pay and what college costs. The majority of full-time students currently enrolled in college receive some type of financial aid to help pay college costs.

Overview of Financial Aid

The financial aid system is based on the idea that all students should have equal access — that you should be able to attend college, regardless of your financial circumstances. Here's an overview on how the system works:

  • You and your family are expected to contribute to the cost of college to the extent that you’re able. 
  • If your family is unable to afford the entire cost (like most families), financial aid is available to help you pay for college.

Who Decides How Much My Family Is Able to Contribute?

The amount your family is able to contribute is often referred to as the expected family contribution (EFC). This figure is determined by the organization that is awarding the aid — usually the federal government or individual colleges and universities.

These groups use formulas that analyze your family's financial circumstances and compare them with other families' financial circumstances. The formulas use your income, assets and family size to calculate your EFC, and expect that your family can meet the EFC through a combination of savings, current income and borrowing.

*Information provided from http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/add-it-up/397.html

2013 Financial Aid Information Night

If you were unable to attend Lowell's Financial Aid Information Night, please download the presentation and handouts.

Financial Aid Night - PowerPoint

Financing Your College Education - Handout

Helpful Websites 2013

If you have any further questions please contact your child's counselor or Simone Andrade our PACT Inc. Representative at simone@pactinc.org.