College freshmen-to-be are getting their financial aid letters in the mail right about now. For students and their families, deciphering these notices can be the first — and often most frustrating — step toward comparing the costs of different schools. Financial award letters are meant to spell out exactly how much a year of study will cost, after taking into account all the different forms of financial aid a student has qualified for. What they say it costs Cost of Attendance COA: This is the total sticker price, including tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board and transportation expenses.
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You might see two types of federal student loans in your letter: Some people refer to these loans as Stafford Loans or Direct Stafford Loans or just subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Both are federal student loans offered by the U. Department of Education. To be eligible to receive either of them, you must be enrolled at least half-time at your school.
Top 5 Questions about Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
One of the most important concepts affecting your repayment plan is subsidized vs. The key component of a subsidized student loan and the biggest benefit is that the U. Department of Education pays for any interest accrued while you are in school. To receive this benefit, you must be enrolled at least halftime.
What is a subsidized loan? Applying for college is difficult enough, but finding a way to pay for your college tuition, room and board, and other expenses can be even harder. The FAFSA free application for federal student aid allows you to streamline the process and apply for multiple types of federal financial aid at once. One of these is called a subsidized loan. A subsidy is an amount of money granted by the government to help lower the price of a commodity or service.