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Making the Final Enrollment Decision

Posted on: April 21st, 2011 by Lori Greene

We’re fast approaching May 1, the National Candidate Decision Date for high school seniors to make their college choice. Though many of the students who applied to Loyola have already made their decision, all of us in the Office of Student Financial Assistance know that finances can be a big part of your final choice. We have tools available to help you.

Your Bottom Line (Estimate) can be found in the LOCUS Campus Finances menu. The Bottom Line is a presentation of your financial aid award and how you can expect it to pay for charges.  It’s important to note that the Bottom Line isn’t a bill, but rather, it’s an estimate of charges, such as tuition, fees, and on-campus room and board versus the financial aid you have received. The result, or ‘Bottom Line,’ is the projected amount that your family can expect to pay after financial aid.

Looking at the Bottom Line is an important consideration for many families and we are happy to be able to provide a significant amount of funds from institutional sources. Many students find that their net cost to attend Loyola is actually equal to or less than the cost to attend a public four-year institution. It is important to use this type of comparison when weighing your options—to look beyond the advertised cost for a school and to investigate the Bottom Line.

One financial aid resource you won’t see in your Loyola Bottom Line is the PLUS Loan. We show you the maximum amount that parents can borrow through the PLUS Loan, but because this loan is applied for by parents, it will only appear in your Bottom Line after the application has been completed. Some colleges will show PLUS Loans in the list of awards and Bottom Line automatically, so remember look closely at the awards provided by other schools so that you have a better idea of where you stand.

Finally, we know that there are times when the FAFSA does not give us the full picture of a family’s financial situation. The Special Circumstance Appeal allows additional information to be included in the financial aid decision. If your family has experienced a significant change in finances, I invite you to contact us to talk about the appeal. It may be challenging to complete the appeal process by May 1, but we can help you work with the Undergraduate Admission Office to help make attending Loyola possible.

As always, when you have questions or want to talk about financial aid as you make your decision, contact my talented staff at Loyola. We’re here to answer your questions and help guide you through the process.

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