Financial Aid: Getting Help to Afford College
Forms of Aid
Financial Aid can be made up of grants and scholarships, which are both gift aid - meaning the money does not need to be paid back. Free money! It can also include loans, which do need to be repaid (either during or after you’re out of school) and work-study, which is a fund set aside for students to work on-campus and earn money while going to school. Work-study does not necessarily guarantee employment; many students still have to apply to and be offered a work-study position in order to use these funds.
Don't cross high-cost colleges off your list: schools with more funds may have more financial aid to offer you!
How does it work?
Starting October 1st of every year you will be enrolled in college, you and your
parents/guardians must file the Federal Application for Student Aid, or FAFSA, to
communicate financial information to colleges and universities. Some colleges and
universities may also require you to fill out a CSS/Profile, which requires a more
in-depth look at student and family financial information. Colleges and universities
you send the FAFSA (and, if applicable, the CSS/Profile) to will review the information
and send a financial aid award letter either along with or after you have been accepted
to the institution.
Did You Know?
57% of Federal Student Aid comes in the form of Scholarships and Grants, meaning you don’t have to pay them back.
34% comes in the form of low-interest federal loans
9% comes in the form of work-study, tax credits, and deductions
Some schools are unable to meet 100% of the financial need of a student but are still able to provide some financial aid - thus a “gap” is formed between the amount a student and his or her family can pay and how much the institution can contribute. This difference must either be covered by outside scholarships or loans.