Appeal your financial aid awards!
Only 1% of families appeal their award letters, while college expect to offer discounts to many students. If you applied for and received award letters that do not meet your expected family contribution (EFC), you should appeal. The best way to appeal is to have other, more generous, award letters from other schools you have been accepted to and ask for colleges to match that amount. It makes sense to appeal now while you are still deciding between colleges and have not locked in your total cost of attendance. Do your homework now for financial savings in the future. For more information, read an interesting article from The College Solution on Mark Kantrowitz's advice on how to appeal here.