Understanding Your Aid Overview

How to Compare Your Aid

How to compare your aid worksheetCollege is a valuable investment in your future, so take the time to consider what is best for you.

Use this table to help you compare true costs.

  1. Enter the figures for each school you are considering.
  2. Subtract university scholarships as well as federal, state, and institutional grants.
  3. What remains is your net cost – sometimes called the gap – which is the amount you will need to pay for school from other sources, such as savings, outside scholarships or loans. 

When considering college options, it is important to be sure you are comparing true costs.

  • Some schools have low tuition costs but high fees (or vice versa), so be sure you look at the total net cost.
  • Compare cost per year or cost per semester.
  • Indirect costs are often standardized, so examine your particular situation: the school’s distance from your home, the cost of living in the area, transportation needs and other factors.

Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA)

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate designed to help you determine what it may cost to attend Appalachian for an academic year. The COA (sometimes referred to as a “budget”) is not a final bill, but an estimate of educational expenses. This budgeting tool is based on full-time enrollment (12+ hours) and includes direct and indirect costs.

  • Direct costs are billed by the university and include expenses such as tuition, fees, standard room, meal plan, and health insurance. (May opt out if covered under an approved plan).
  • Indirect costs are expenses you will likely incur, but will not pay to the university. Indirect costs vary from student to student and may include off-campus housing, transportation to campus and elective expenses. (Examples include: clothing, food and personal hygiene items).

Visit Cost of Attendance to learn more. 

Grants and Scholarships

You do not need to repay grants and scholarships. (Outside scholarships are not factored into your overview until we have been notified. Make sure your scholarship provider knows you are coming to App State.)

Visit Types of Aid to learn more.

Loans

Depending on eligibility, you may be offered two types of federal student loans:

  • Subsidized loans are need-based and do not accrue interest as long as the student is enrolled in at least 6 credit hours.
  • Unsubsidized loans are not considered need-based aid. These loans accrue interest upon disbursement.

Both types of loan offers can vary from year to year and are dependent on FAFSA information, cumulative credit hours earned and student loan borrowing history.

Visit Types of Aid to learn more. 

Other Options for Paying Your Remaining Balance

If your grants and scholarships don’t cover your full cost of attendance, you still have additional options, including:

  • Outside Scholarships: Last year, App students received $4.9 million in scholarships from outside organizations. There are many great outside scholarship resources available – let us help you in your search! Learn more about applying for outside scholarships.   
  • Private Education Loans: Private loans are offered by private lenders, such as a bank, credit union or state agency. We do not recommend one lender over another, but we do recommend that you compare loans carefully to find the loan that has the interest rates, fees, and repayment terms and conditions that are best for you. 
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan: Parents of dependent students can apply for this loan at studentaid.gov.
  • Monthly Payment Plan: Pay each semester’s balance in monthly payments through the Office of Student Accounts. Visit studentaccounts.appstate.edu to learn more about payment options.

What's Next?

  • Review your financial aid overview thoroughly.
  • Use the worksheet to compare your aid to other institutions.
  • Research outside scholarships and other loan options.
  • Check your App State email often for communications from the Office of Financial Aid & University Scholarships
  • Sign in to your AppalNet Account (appalnet.appstate.edu) to review and take action on your official financial aid.
  • Consider giving your family members access to your information (see below).
  • Bills are generated in July. You will be billed separately for fall and spring semesters. To learn more about payment options visit studentaccounts.appstate.edu.

Access to Your Information

Students can authorize access for two parents or guardians through the AppalNet Portal. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Appalachian and the Office of Student Financial Aid & University Scholarships are not able to provide confidential information pertaining to students unless authorized by the student.

To give a parent or family member access to your information:

  1. Visit appalnet.appstate.edu and log in using your AppalNet account information. Your account information was emailed shortly after your acceptance to Appalachian.
  2. Click on the “Student” tab and select “Parent Access” from the menu.
  3. Enter the full name and a current email address for up to two people.
  4. Assign a 6-digit, numbers-only PIN. If you are adding two people, they will share the same PIN.
  5. Select the areas that you would like to give access and click “Submit.”

For authorized family members

When contacting an office on behalf of your student, please have your student’s full name, Banner ID number and your PIN. The university will need this information in order properly to assist you.

Questions?

Our financial aid counselors are here to help.  Schedule an appointment to meet with a financial aid counselor one-on-one. 

Common Terms

  • AppalNet Portal: The AppalNet Portal is the one-stop source for information and resources. You will have direct access to grades, registration information, parking, campus housing, financial aid and account information, including billing and payments. Log in at appalnet.appstate.edu. (Your account information was emailed shortly after your acceptance to Appalachian.)
  • Cost of Attendance (COA): The Cost of Attendance is an estimate designed to help you determine what it may cost to attend Appalachian for an academic year. The COA (sometimes referred to as a “budget”) is not a final bill, but an estimate of educational expenses. This budgeting tool is based on full-time enrollment (12+ hours) and includes direct and indirect costs.
    • Direct costs are billed by the university and include expenses such as tuition, fees, standard room, meal plan, and health insurance. (May opt out if covered under an approved plan).
    • Indirect costs are expenses you will likely incur, but will not pay to the university. Indirect costs vary from student to student and may include off-campus housing, transportation to campus and elective expenses. (Examples include: clothing, food and personal hygiene items).
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC): A number that your school uses to determine how much financial aid you’re eligible for. It’s not (despite its name) how much your family will have to pay for college.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): A form completed annually by students to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. The FAFSA opens October 1 each year.
  • Net Cost: An estimate of the actual cost (after aid) that you and your family need to pay in a given year to cover educational expenses. Net cost is determined by taking the institution’s cost of attendance and subtracting any grants and scholarships for which you may be eligible.
  • Parent Access: In accordance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Appalachian and the Office of Student Financial Aid & University Scholarships are not able to provide confidential information pertaining to students unless authorized by the student. Students can authorize access for two parents or guardians through the AppalNet Portal.
  • Scholarships: Financial support based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need.
    • Institutional Scholarships: Each year, the university sets aside more than $4 million for scholarships, with scholarship opportunities available to incoming, current and transfer students.
    • Outside Scholarships: These are offered by outside organizations. There are many outside scholarship resources available – let us help you in your search. Learn more at scholarships.appstate.edu/outside-scholarships.
  • Student Loans: Depending on eligibility, you may be offered two types of federal student loans. Both types of loan offers can vary from year to year and are dependent on FAFSA information, cumulative credit hours earned and student loan borrowing history.
    • Subsidized loans are need-based and do not accrue interest as long as the student is enrolled in at least 6 credit hours.
    • Unsubsidized loans are not considered need-based aid. These loans accrue interest upon disbursement