Outside scholarship offset against grant before loan but EFC reduced
Interesting financial aid situation for my son. Details:
1) Received financial award that included grants and loans ($3.5K Perkins, $3.5K Direct subsidized, $2K Direct unsubsidized)
2) Received $8K in outside scholarship
3) Reported $8K outside scholarship to school
4) School reduced grant by $2K and removed $3.5 Perkins loan but left $3.5K Direct subsidized loan.
So, they didn't offset the whole $8K (better for me), but they did offset more against the grant (not better for me). I had expected them to offset the $8K by $3.5K Perkins, $3.5K Direct subsidized, $1K Grant. So, we lost $1K in grant money but got to keep the $3.5K loan (this effectively lowered my EFC calculated by the school by giving more total aid).
1) Although every college can do whatever they want, I thought the convention was generally to offset the loans first (Perkins/subsidized). Sounds like that is not always the case. Anyone else encounter that?
2) Although I'd prefer to have $1K in extra grant over the $3.5K Direct subsidized, it's really not a huge deal (I can borrow the $3.5K, pay no interest and pay it back in full after my son graduates. The extra money, although not really necessary, certainly helps). Is it even worth it to complain?
Thanks for any input. It's amazing how many things don't go as expected.