Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to the university and you just received your financial aid award letter. That's great news, but what does it all mean? Do you have to accept the full amount of aid listed in your award letter? Let's dive into the details so you can make an informed decision about your financial aid. 

What Does My Award Letter Mean?
Your award letter is a document from Lionel University that outlines the types and amounts of financial aid available to you. It will include grants and/or loans that you are eligible for based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The amount of money listed in the award letter is the maximum amount of financial assistance you can receive for that academic year based on your current credits enrolled

Do I Have to Accept All Of It?  
No! You do not have to accept all of the money listed in the award letter if it exceeds what you need. Firstly, we recommend you review your quarterly invoice to determine the amount of funding you will require to cover the quarterly balance due. If you accept a financial aid package that is higher than your tuition amount, you will receive a refund check for the extra amount. You must set up your method to pay your quarterly balance by the deadline. However, only borrow what you actually need, otherwise, you could end up with more debt than necessary once graduation rolls around. Make sure to review all of your options before deciding how much financial aid to accept. 

What Other Options Do I Have? 
Federal grants are offered as “free money” with no strings attached so these should be taken advantage of first. But if federal grant funds don't cover all of your costs, then consider taking out a federal loan, as federal loans often offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment plans than other financing options. Additionally, if you're considering taking out a federal loan for the first time to cover part or all of your tuition costs, make sure you complete your Federal Master Promissory Note and Federal Entrance Counseling requirements.  

Now that you know what's included in your financial aid award letter, make sure to take some time to review everything carefully before deciding which option is best for you. Remember, only borrow what you absolutely need; otherwise, when graduation comes around, you might find yourself facing more debt than anticipated! Taking out student loans isn't something that should be done lightly—make sure to understand all aspects of any agreement before signing on the dotted line.

Regardless of whether you’re pursuing an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree, at Lionel you earn multiple certifications and specializations along the way. This means you can start working as a fitness and nutrition professional even before graduation day! And, with the help of financial aid, earning your exercise science degree is even more of a possibility. 

Check out our programs and contact Lionel today!