The aid offer or award letter is a summary of the cost of attendance less any eligible federal, state, and institutional financial aid support being offered.

Federal aid may include grants, such as the Pell Grant, work-study, and loans.

State aid typically includes grants and scholarships.

Institutional support may include scholarships, grants, Work-study and instituitional loans.

The aid offer can be used to determine Net Price, which is the cost of attendance minus the free money  -  grants and scholarships. The remaning Net Price needs to be paid in from cash, savings, and/or financed using loans.