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Next Steps Blog


Financial Aid! Where to Start?

by Lauren Gersick
Associate Director of College Counseling

This is the time of year when Junior students and their families are beginning the formal conversation around college applications and college research. With those early conversations come questions around financial aid and the inevitable expense of college. Simultaneously, Seniors are awaiting admission letters and financial aid awards from colleges to which they have applied.

The financial aid conversation is inherently complex and money is an emotional conversation. To this end, we have a list of resources on our website that we recommend perusing. Beyond this we believe reviewing the basic information can be helpful at this stage for Juniors just beginning to think concretely about next steps, and Seniors entering the more formal stage of decision making and hard-number financial analysis.

Duke University has a video hosted by the Director of Financial Aid that covers some important questions asked by families of all sorts. Please take a look!

Big Future, run by the College Board, has a really clear College Questions 101 that outlines some basics worth reviewing.

Finally, being informed about the landscape of loans is important, as how much to borrow for college is an important question for most students. Please use this calculator to determine the real outcomes for various sorts of loans that may be on offer.

As always, financial aid offices are there to help! Be candid. Ask as many questions as you have. Feel confident that college financial aid offices are on your side.

Posted by lgersick on Wednesday February, 18, 2015 at 11:35AM


Choose groups to clone to:


Susan Lee
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9511

Lauren Gersick
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9512

Leslie Schaffer
College Counseling Assistant
415 593 9519

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