What is Financial Aid? Financial aid is any type of financial assistance that covers tuition, books, room and board, fees and supplies.
What types of financial aid are available? Typical types of financial aid include Scholarships, Loans, Grants, and Work-Study.
Scholarships: A scholarship is money for college that you don’t have to pay back. The criteria may be based on academic merit, financial need, community service or involvement, athletics, etc. Scholarships may be awarded by the institution you plan to attend or by outside organizations.
Loans: A loan is money provided by the federal government or in some cases a private lender that must be repaid at the end of a specified amount of time. Most loans are given by the federal government and come in 2 forms; subsidized-interest is paid by the government while you are in school and unsubsidized-the interest on the loan accrues while you are in school. BE SURE TO KNOW THE TERMS OF YOUR LOAN!!!!! Also, do not accept more money than you actually need.
Grants: A grant is a non-repayable type of aid that is typically based on financial need. The most commonly known grant is the PELL Grant which is awarded to low income students seeking their first undergraduate degree. The current maximum PELL Grant award is $6,195 however you may not receive the full amount and the amount may change from year to year. Other grants include:
TEACH Grant: Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $3,764 per year to students who commit to teaching in a high-need field in a school or educational service agency that serves low-income students.
FSEOG: The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates (student’s that have not earned a bachelor’s degree) based on exceptional financial need. Not all schools participate in the FSEOG program so be sure to check with the financial aid office at the institution you are planning to attend.
Iraq, and Afghanistan Service Grant: Students whose parent or guardian served in the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of performing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11. Recipients cannot be eligible for the PELL Grant.
Institutional Grants: Grants or money provided by the institution you are attending. Criteria typically vary.
For additional information on federal grants please click on this link to visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Work-Study: Federal Work Study is a program that allows college students to work part-time to earn money to assist with educational expenses. The job may be on or off campus and is based on availability and need.
How do I apply for financial aid?
The FAFSA: This is the first and most important step. High school seniors and their parents may complete the FAFSA any time after October 1st of their senior year by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov or using the approved FAFSA app. The FAFSA is completely FREE and on average can take 20 minutes to complete. You can even complete the FAFSA using the FAFSA app. Please remember, completing the FAFSA is FREE. If a site asks you to pay, you are on the wrong site. To complete the FAFSA you will need the following:
- A FSA ID. Both the student and parent need an FSA ID. Please visit the FSA ID site to create your FSA ID.
- Social security number
- Prior year federal tax returns (student and parent)
- Sources of untaxed income (TANF, Social Security benefits, child support received and paid)
- Alien Registration Card (if not a U.S. citizen)
Note: You or your parents may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval System to transfer your income tax information which will make the process even easier!