Can We Decline Financial Aid?

By Karen Cooper

  • March 13, 2022
  • 1 min read


Two high school students sitting on a couch at home looking at their phones

Karen Cooper

Karen Cooper
Associate Dean and Director of Financial Aid
Stanford University

Can we decline loans or work-study in a financial aid package?

Yes. Your child can accept, decline, or reduce any financial aid they are offered. For instance, if you have savings set aside or prefer to use a payment plan offered through the college, you may decide to reduce or decline any interest-bearing loans. Likewise, if your child has a part-time or summer job to cover books and personal expenses, they can forgo work-study.

When it comes to borrowing loans, make sure you compare all your options. Consider federal student loans (aka direct loans) first before turning to private education loans. Unlike many private loans, federal direct loans have fixed interest rates and flexible repayment options, including income-driven repayment plans — meaning the monthly payment amount is based on the borrower’s income and family size.

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