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Steering Students and Families to Smarter College Choices

By: John Tamrat   |   March 2024

College financial aid and figuring out the true cost of each college option can be very confusing for students and families. It’s particularly challenging to compare different offers and realistically assess outstanding costs after financial aid. Learn about how DecidED breaks down the true cost of college after financial aid, supporting students and families making a financially informed enrollment decision.

Navigate Your College Future with DecidED
In the whirlwind of today's college selection process, finding the right post-secondary path can seem daunting for students. That's where DecidED, a free college affordability tool, shines. DecidED simplifies the higher education enrollment decision process, helping students land on a school that is both attainable and financially sensible.
 
Smart Investing in Your Educational Journey
Selecting a college is more than just choosing a campus or a course of study; it is a major financial commitment with long term impact.  DecidED simplifies the process for students and parents by clearly comparing college costs and financial aid options, providing a holistic view of the financial implications across each option. DecidED’s visual explanations help students choose a college that fits their budget, along with crucial academic and social fit factors.
 
Unraveling the Financial Aid Puzzle
Students can create a free DecidED account and then upload each of their financial aid letters to their profile. Within seconds each letter is translated into an easy-to-read pie chart and detailed breakdown, including what amount of money they still need to obtain after financial aid. DecidED cuts through the complexity of financial aid, so students can holistically evaluate their options and make informed college choices. Given the shorter timeline that students will have to make their enrollment decisions this year due to FAFSA delays, DecidED should be a great resource for readily weighing their college options.
                                                                  


Once students have uploaded two or more letters, they can start comparing their college offers side-by-side. Not only are they comparing the financials, but they can also evaluate the tradeoffs of other fit factors such as graduation rate, majors, or campus diversity. This helps students and families look at the whole picture when making their enrollment decision.

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How to get started in DecidED
Here's how to get started in DecidED - students can sign up and start adding schools even if they haven’t received their financial aid letters yet:
 

  • Create an Account: Sign up for free at DecidED.org.
  • Add Colleges: Search and add the colleges you’re interested in or have applied to already.
  • Upload & Analyze Financial Aid Offers: Upload your financial aid letters to DecidED as you receive them to easily compare your offers.
  • Getting Started with DecidED: Watch short videos on how to get started.
 
DecidED Spring 2024 Sweepstakes Giveaway
We're excited to announce the DecidED 2024 Student Sweepstakes! Encourage your students to sign up and complete their profiles on DecidED before March 31 for a chance to win a $200 Visa Gift Card. Starting in April, any student who uploads one or more financial aid letters by May 31st will be entered for a 2nd chance to win $200.
 

Author
John Tamrat is the Partner Success Manager for Moneythink, a college access nonprofit working to reduce student debt. Prior to joining Moneythink, John supported students and families in education and workforce development as a Case Manager for Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Bay Area (CA) and Program Coordinator for Genesys Works, Twin Cities (MN). As a first-generation immigrant to the United States, he understands how difficult it can be to navigate the US education system with limited resources and support and believes educational opportunity shouldn’t come at the cost of financial security. John earned his BA from Goshen College and holds a MS from the University of Leed’s Business School (UK).