Aid Basics For Parents

Having a child go through the college application and decision process is an exciting time for all involved.  Very often, finances play a major role in where a student will to attend college.  The Office of Financial Aid at Wagner College strives to make the financial aid process as smooth as possible for you and your child.

After receiving the acceptance letters, you will begin receiving the financial aid packages.  Reviewing and interpreting these offers can be time-consuming.  We’ve designed this page as a guide to you help you through the sometimes tedious process.

It is important for the student to be involved in the entire process.  A college education is an investment in the future and being involved will help educate your child to be a savvy consumer and will foster greater financial literacy.

Prior to receiving aid offers:

  • Check out the FAFSA deadlines for each school and be sure to file the FAFSA on time and as accurately as possible.
    • Browse the websites for each school and read the information about financial aid.
    • Inquire if the schools will request any other information or forms.  Send information only when requested.
    • Review your personal finances with your child.  Share and communicate any concerns about affordability with your child.

Upon receiving aid offers:

  •  Examine each aid package carefully and compare the aid offers for each school.  Specifically, look at the following:
    • How are institutional funds awarded (i.e. merit or need)?
      • Is this a renewable award or a one-time offer?
    • If the package includes loans, what types of loans are they (student and/or parent)?
      • Do the loans require credit-checks (i.e. parent or alternative loans)?
      • Do the loans have fees?
    • If College Work-Study is offered, will the student be able to earn this amount while maintaining a full-time academic and extra-curricular schedule?   (Note:  Divide the dollar amount stated by the minimum wage to determine the number of hours the student will need to work over two semesters in order to earn that amount.)
  • Review the costs for the individual schools -- Wagner's cost of attendance may be viewed on the Cost of Attendance page
    •  Do the costs cover all expenses that the student will be charged while attending for the year?  Are there other fees that you may not be aware of (i.e.- lab fees, technology fees)?
    • Compare the aid offers for each school.  How does the aid offered compare to the costs?

The U.S. Department of Education has a tool available that will assist you in this task.

After reviewing aid offers:

  • Contact the colleges to ask any questions or discuss their aid offers and possible financing options.
  • Make the choice of college and submit a deposit holding the student’s place in the class.

How does Wagner package?

  • Wagner awards institutional funds based upon merit.  These awards are included with the student's acceptance letter from the Admissions Office and will be included on the Financial Aid Offer.
  • Federal student loans are the only loans included in the Financial Aid Offer.  PLUS and alternative loans are not included because they are based upon credit and require a pre-approval and separate application.
  • Students who indicate on the FAFSA that they are interested in employment and are eligible, will have CWS included in their Aid Offer.  The amount that is listed is the amount that the student can reasonably earn over the course of the academic year.