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Articles / Applying to College / Do Financial Aid Awards Come With Early Decision Notifications?

Dec. 6, 2018

Do Financial Aid Awards Come With Early Decision Notifications?

Do Financial Aid Awards Come With Early Decision Notifications?
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I applied Early Decision to NYU and I know it's binding unless I have financial reasons not to accept the offer. My parents are starting to get really stressed over the financial part. They want to know how soon after the acceptance letter we would get the financial aid offer. Does it come at the same time? If there's a wait, should I be sending out other applications during the waiting period in case the financial aid offer isn't enough?

New York University Early Decision applicants who applied for financial aid will receive a financial aid offer at the time of the admission verdict. (This is true at most colleges with ED, although sometimes the aid award is a day or two delayed.) So, if you do get good news from NYU, your parents should be able to determine if this school will be affordable before you have to submit additional applications ... and pay additional application fees. (See this recent “Ask the Dean" column about Regular Decision timetables for ED applicants).


Hopefully, you and your parents were able to estimate your NYU aid award using the university's “Net Price Calculator" before you forged ahead with your ED bid. Although “Net Price Calculators" are rarely 100-percent accurate, they typically can give you a ballpark idea of what to expect so you're not blindsided by the amount of your aid award.

When an aid award is insufficient, families can launch an appeal before walking away from the ED acceptance. If you are accepted ED to NYU but your aid award is far below what you require, then an appeal will probably not bridge the gap. But if your aid award qualifies as “close but no cigar," then you may be able to wrangle the extra funds you need via an appeal. However, appeals can take several weeks, especially over the holidays when colleges shut down. So if you are admitted to NYU but realize that an appeal is necessary, you should proceed with your additional applications and submit those with pending deadlines while you wait.

If your NYU appeal is successful and you are able to accept the offer of admission, you must withdraw all other applications immediately and you'll forfeit your application fees. (If you've just submitted these other applications when you get the green light from NYU, you can try contacting the other colleges to ask for your fees to be returned, but don't count on a positive response.)

Admission folks don't like to lose admitted ED applicants (whom they've already counted as “sure-things") for financial reasons. So if you and your parents believe that an aid award appeal can help to eliminate some of the mounting stress, don't hesitate to give it a shot. And if you do find that a financial aid appeal is in your future, feel free to write back to “The Dean" for some tips.

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Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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