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AG announces tools to help students understand college aid

Attorney General Maura Healey has announced new tools and resources aimed at helping students and parents better understand and compare financial aid information and make informed decisions when accepting loans and other college financing.

The AG’s Office and its Student Debt Working Group, as well as the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, have partnered with uAspire, a nonprofit organization that providers students with counseling and tools to find an affordable path to and through college.

The resources, which are posted on the Attorney General’s website, include a terminology fact sheet, an award letter FAQ, an annotated award letter, and a 3-step guide to decoding the letter. It is designed to allow students and parents to understand the difference between scholarships, grants and loans; how to estimate what each institution will actually cost; to compare award letters; and how to understand and explore loan options.

The goal is to help students make informed decisions when choosing a college and prevent students from borrowing more than they need in an effort to reduce the burden of student loans after leaving college. The AG’s Student Loan Assistance Unit receives hundreds of calls annually from borrowers who say that they did not understand how much they would owe until after graduation.

You can find the uAspire information on the Attorney General’s website here.