Evaluating Your Options

After you have received your Award Notification, this page explains how to evaluate your aid offers, how to compare your net costs after aid, and how to manage your remaining costs. 

Previous pages explained How your Awards were Determined and how you can request a reevaluation of your financial need if you or your family have experienced a decrease in family income or other Special Financial Conditions.

Comparing School Costs

We encourage all prospective students to carefully compare their projected costs at the schools they are considering, and then to select the school that best meets their educational and financial needs.  While cost is not the only factor to consider, when you do compare costs, to accurately compare costs you should focus on your Net Costs at each school after subtracting all gift aid (grants, scholarships, etc.)   (Temporarily ignore all loan offers because loans don’t reduce your relative cost at each school.) 

Your Net Cost will vary both on the estimated costs and your gift aid offers (grants & scholarships) from each school.  If school B offered you $5,000 more in scholarships than school A, but school B is also $8,000 more expensive, then School B is still $3,000 more expensive. 

Try not to let emotion cloud your cost comparisons.  Because many students/families feel more appreciated by colleges that offer them scholarships, some schools increase their “official” tuition rates so that they can then offer more scholarship discounts to more of their applicants.  At some schools with high “official” tuition rates, the average scholarship discount can be 40% to 50% of their “official” tuition rate, but even after subtracting these scholarship discounts, the Net Cost or actual cost may still be higher than another school that offers less scholarships but charges lower tuition.    The most important factor is always your actual Net Cost at each school and the quality of each school, not the discount amount or discount percentage.  For more information about accurately comparing costs and schools, see our federal Shopping Sheet.

After you have accurately compared your Net Costs at each school, then you can make an informed decision about where you want to attend, which school you can afford, and the amount of loans you would need to borrow at each school to finance your remaining costs.  If you can only afford to attend a school with higher net costs by borrowing higher loan amounts, then you will have to decide if that school offers enough additional long-term  educational value to justify the additional loan debt burden.

Estimated TU Costs

Please review our estimated TU Cost of Attendance Budgets.  We believe that we offer a high quality education at a very affordable price.  Our in-state tuition & fee rates are very affordable, and our out-of-state rates are also lower than many of our peers. 

TU Quality & Value

*The College Scorecard data was collected on 10/2016 and is based on the 2014-15 IPEDS data.  Earnings are based on the median earnings at 10 years after entering the school for former students who received any federal student aid.

Loan & Financing Options

  • Loan Programs: Your Award Notification should list the maximum amount that you are eligible to borrow from each of the federal student and parent loans.  For more information about the various loan options and financing costs, see  loan programs.
  • Payment Plan: Our Tiger Installment Plan helps students and families to spread their payments throughout the semester so you have extra time to pay for school while avoiding any late fees.

Scholarships Opportunities

Deadlines vary widely between scholarships.  If you have already received your FAFSA Aid Notification from TU, it will be too late to apply for many scholarships for the next academic year.  Some scholarships do have later deadlines, but for others you would have to wait until next year to apply.

TU Admission’s Office Merit Scholarship Selection Criteria

Most merit scholarships from TU are offered by our Admission’s Office to undergraduate students who apply for fall admission.  We are usually only able to offer these scholarships to around 21% of our applicant pool.  Competition for these scholarships is very intense because many strong students apply TU.  To compete for these scholarships, students have to submit their admission application and all supporting documents/information by December 1.  The selection criteria and amounts vary each year based on the size and strength of each applicant pool.  Recipients are selected based on high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores.  All recipients are notified by early March.

Scholarship Appeals/Negotiation

We cannot accept scholarships appeals or requests to match other schools' aid offers.  Because we want to offer every applicant the best aid package we can, we don’t reserve any of our aid funding for scholarship appeals or negotiated offers.  If you did not already receive a scholarship offer letter from TU and you already received your TU Award Notification, but it does not list any TU scholarships, then unfortunately we were unable to offer you a scholarship. 

We encourage you to explore and apply for scholarships every year.  Many additional merit scholarships are available for continuing students from a variety of sources, but because there is no guarantee that you will receive dditional scholarships, you should choose which school you will attend based on your current aid offers and your current projected Net Cost at each school.  

Other Options for Reducing your College Costs

Investing in your education can pay off with greater lifelong opportunities and higher earnings, but you have to be careful about borrowing too much.  If you have carefully compared your Net Costs and are still unable to afford your favorite school choices without borrowing excessive loans, then you may need to consider other options.  You may need to take a harder look at other school choices and may also want to consider living at home and commuting to school. 

At most public universities in Maryland, your annual room & board costs will be more than your tuition and fees.  You can significantly reduce your costs by living at home and commuting to a nearby school with affordable Net Tuition & Fee costs.  If you change your housing status after a school has already offered you aid, you must notify the school, and they will have to revise your Cost of Attendance budget and your aid offers, but in most cases your cost savings will offset any aid reductions.   

If you decide to consider another school, but have not applied for admissions to that school by their scholarship deadline, then it will probably too late to get any admission’s merit scholarships from that school.  Depending on your family income level, you may qualify need-based grants; but application deadlines may also be an issue for grants.  Ask that school’s financial aid office about their grant deadlines.

When making your final school choice, remember to consider all of the following factors:

  • How well will this college prepare you for your career goals?
  • How much is the Net Cost for each school?
  • Am I getting the most “Bang for my Buck?”

Additional Questions

If you have additional questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Contact

Office of Financial Aid

Location
Enrollment Services
Room 339
All Contacts & Resources
Hours
Mon-Thurs, 8:30 am-5 pm; Fri, 8:30 am-4:30 pm (Call Center)

Mon-Thurs, 8 am-5 pm; Fri, 8 am-4:30 pm (Reception Desk)
Phone
410-704-4236
Fax
410-704-2584