Financial Aid Information
Learning the lingo
Whether you have already chosen a college or you're still trying to decide, this is a good time to figure out what it will cost and how you'll pay for it.
The Cost of Education
Each college's financial aid office can provide information to help you figure the expenses. Don't be discouraged if the cost of continuing education seems too high—financial aid is available for students who qualify.
Financial aid is a general term for any financial assistance given to a student for any type of postsecondary education (four-year college, two-year college, trade and technical schools).
Generally, financial aid is divided into two groups:
- Need-based financial aid
- Merit-based financial aid
There are several types of financial aid and a variety of sources of financial assistance. Remember, not all aid is based on financial need. Some awards are based on academic performance or selected skills.
Types of Financial Aid
Need-Based Financial Aid
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Financial Aid Packages
Sources of Financial Aid
Financial assistance to attend college comes in many forms. Most people use a combination of these forms of aid to pay for college.
Federal Aid Programs
State Aid Programs
Grants and Scholarships
Work Study Programs
Working and Savings
How to Apply for Financial Aid
The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the U.S. Department of Education Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- File only one FAFSA regardless of how many colleges you are considering. The FAFSA includes a section to list the colleges where you want your information sent.
- Forms are available at the FAFSA website (opens new window), at high school counselor offices, or by calling the Federal Student Aid information hotline (800/433-3243).
Applying for Need-Based Financial Aid
Applying for Grants and Scholarships
Financial Aid Resources
Loans for College
Scholarships & Scholarship Search
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