Just a week ago, our Student Financial Services office posted the financial aid awards for students and parents admitted to UVM. It is a both and exciting time and a stressful time as families make their college decisions this month.
Here are a few reminders and information nuggets that I hope will help clarify any questions.
1. How do I compare costs? One of the most challenging things to understand right now is having accurate information about the annual cost of a university. When a student logs on to our student portal and views their financial aid award, they will see an estimated cost of attendance. It is important to understand that this price includes estimates for things that will not be paid to UVM, such as books, transportation and personal expenses. Other schools may present the actual billed costs for comparisons. Therefore, when comparing cost after financial aid, be sure that you are comparing the same figures. The direct billed costs for UVM can be found at the bottom of the page with the financial aid award or on the student financial services website here. I also encourage students and parents to subtract the aid from the costs. I have communicated with a number of students and parents because they received a larger scholarship at another institution, but the costs are higher, and the cost of UVM after aid is actually comparable.
2. UVM awards students the best financial aid available and we are not in a position to change awards based on what other schools provide. We welcome questions and are happy to review special circumstances that students and families may have that do not appear on the FAFSA – the financial aid staff can review special circumstances. Our approach, however, to our financial aid awarding is that we will not negotiate a financial aid award.
3. We have issued some tentative financial aid awards (vs final awards) because we are missing required documentation that has been requested. If your award is labeled tentative, then I encourage you to send in the information that has been requested by student financial services.
We are very pleased that we have been able to offer the kind of financial aid to our potential new students. For some families, they may make decisions to attend other schools because the financial support or the overall cost of another school fits within their family resources. But for many students, the financial support makes it possible for students to attend UVM.
Our Student Financial Services website contains an extensive group of frequently asked questions. These questions and answers will prove to be very helpful to students and parents. The website also describes our monthly payment plan, Tuition Management Services, as a way to help manage the payment of tuition.
Our Student Financial Services staff is available to assist students and parents. The wait time on the phone is longer at this time of year, but the staff is happy to assist in answering questions. Their office customer service hours are listed here.
Please be in touch if you have any remaining questions.