Comparing Financial Aid Awards

Comparing your financial aid offers can be difficult, since your awards may vary in the type of aid given. You may want to use the Compare your awards tool at the College Board website to get a side-by-side comparison of the quantity and quality of your aid awards.

The goal is not to figure out the best 'deal', but to figure out if your educational choice if affordable to you and your family. Also consider the type of financial aid. Financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships (which you do not have to pay back) is better than loans (money you have to pay back). The information needed to complete the worksheet is available with the financial aid offer you have received from the schools you are considering. You should do this calculation for each college.

Compare Your Awards


School 1

School 2

School 3

College Name




Cost of Attendance

Tuition and Fees




Room and Board




Lunch at School




Books and Supplies








Personal Expenses




Total Cost of Attendance




Financial Aid

Pell Grant




TAP Grant




Grants and Scholarships












Total Financial Aid




Total Cost of Attendance
– Total Financial Aid
= Total Expenses