A school award letter has no standard format, notes Sallie Mae, one of the largest education-focused financial services companies in the United States. The letter's purpose is to explain the financial aid package offered to the student by the school.
Although formats vary, school award letters typically contain information on the annual cost of the school, the specific financial aid package available to the student, the amount expected from the student's family and the monetary gap for which the student needs to find other sources.
The student must formally accept or decline the offer, but it is not necessary for him to accept all of the financial aid the school offers. The U.S. Department of Education recommends accepting scholarships and grants first, followed by work-study financial support, before utilizing borrowed money in the form of government, college or private loans.
Award letters address only one year of school. The student must apply annually for financial aid.