The College Financing Plan

This webpage provides students, families, and institutions with information about the College Financing Plan. The College Financing Plan has een previously referred to as the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet.

The College Financing Plan is a consumer tool that participating institutions use to notify students about their financial aid package. It is a standardized form that is designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so that they can easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school. In July 2012, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) released the College Financing Plan (formerly known as the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet) and asked institutions to voluntarily commit to using it to supply financial aid information to students in a way that could be understood and compared easily. The College Financing Plan became available for use beginning in the 2013-2014 award year.

In 2020, the Department released an additional form to reflect the needs of graduate and professional school students more accurately. The Department worked with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), financial aid administrators and other stakeholders, and received valuable input to create the Graduate and Professional school form. 

Each of the components that institutions need to complete institutional College Financing Plans are available below, including the HTML specifications file, technical guide, and a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

HTML Specifications:

Institutions and their software providers may use the attached HTML specifications to produce and populate the College Financing Plan, using the applicable fields from their existing data systems. The HTML specifications include a “download” button on the College Financing Plan so that students may save their student aid offer information in XML, a machine-readable format. This XML layout is also attached. We encourage institutions providing students with their College Financing Plan in electronic format to include this feature.

Institutions delivering the College Financing Plan in print form may remove the “download” button. For convenience, a PDF version of the College Financing Plan is also attached.

Questions may be directed to


Undergraduate form:

2023-24 Annotated Undergraduate College Financing Plan 
2023-24 Undergraduate College Financing Plan Template 
2023-24 Undergraduate College Financing Plan Technical Guide 
2023-24 Undergraduate HTML Specification 

Graduate/Professional Form:

2023-24 Annotated Graduate/Professional School College Financing Plan 
2023-24 Graduate/Professional College Financing Plan Template 
2023-24 Graduate/Professional College Financing Plan Technical Guide 
2023-24 Graduate/Professional HTML Specification 


2023-24 College Financing Plan (FAQ)

23-24 College Financing Plan Electronic Announcement (EA):



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Last Modified: 10/12/2022