Posted Date: September 28, 2012

Author:  David A. Bergeron, Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education

Subject: Implementation of the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

This Electronic Announcement provides additional information about the implementation of the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (Shopping Sheet) for the 2013-14 award year released by Secretary of Education on July 24, 2012 ( Institutions and their software providers may use the attached HTML specifications to produce and populate the Shopping Sheet using the applicable fields from their existing data systems.  The HTML includes a “download” button on the Shopping Sheet to allow prospective students to download their aid offer information into a machine readable format (XML); this XML layout is also attached. We encourage institutions providing the Shopping Sheet in electronic format to include this feature. Institutions that are delivering the Shopping Sheet in print form may want to remove the button.  For convenience, a PDF version of the Shopping Sheet is also attached.

The Department will provide the institutional metrics, specifically graduation rate, loan default rate, and median borrowing figures in the coming months.

As described in Dear Colleague Letters GEN-12-12 and GEN 12-17, all institutions are encouraged to use the Shopping Sheet format for financial aid award letters beginning with the 2013-14 award year.  In addition, the Shopping Sheet will help those institutions that receive Federal funds under the military and veterans educational benefits programs to meet a disclosure responsibility under Executive Order 13607. 

As a reminder, the Shopping Sheet may be used to supplement or to replace an institution's existing award letter. An institution need not use the Shopping Sheet every time it revises a student's financial aid package. However, since the Shopping Sheet will help students compare aid offers, we encourage institutions to use it when financial aid packages are revised.

Background information on the Shopping Sheet is included on our Model Financial Aid Offer Form Web page at:  This also includes an annotated Shopping Sheet that has been updated as needed to clarify the data elements:  In addition, the discussion of the Shopping Sheet during the Department’s quarterly Software Developers Conference in late August is available (

We appreciate your continued efforts to provide clear information to inform students' educational choices.  Please direct any questions about the Shopping Sheet to .


HTML Specification Package in ZIP Format

Download Button XML Layout in XML Format

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet in PDF Format, 579KB, 1 Page


End of Page