Understanding financial aid

By Scott Glasgow - Understand what financial aid is, who's elgible, and how it works.

Financial aid flow

(1) Submit your FAFSA. (2) Receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). (3) Your schools uses your SAR to help create a financial aid package.

Stanford financial aid process

(1) Family contribution. (2) Student contibution. (3) Scholarships and grants.

Family contribution

First is the component of deteriming if your parent(s) (family or guardian(s)) can afford to contribute to your education.

Student contribution

The second component is the student contribution. This is the contribution that is expected to be earned via working over the Summer or outside scholarships. It also includes the amount of money that financial aid believes that you should be able to contribute during the year. This contribution is part of the financial aid office’s idea that each student should share the responsibility of paying for his or her education.

Grants and scholarships

The final component is made up of scholarships and/or grants. These are the funds that are provided based off what the financial aid office has determined that parents and students are able to contribute. These are funds that do not need to be paid back but are provided to make Stanford University affordable for students and parents.


Cost of Attendance - (Parent Contribution + Student Contribution) = Scholarships + Grants.

What's Next?

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