GRANTS (money given the student because on financial need)
SCHOLARSHIPS (money given to the student based on specific criteria)
COLLEGE WORK-STUDY (money given to the student as payment to work on campus)
LOANS (money given to the student that must be paid back with interest: i.e. Subsidized Stafford Loan for students with financial need, Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for students without financial need, PLUS Loan for parents, not based on financial need, or Perkins Loan which is federal money awarded by the college).
Branches of the military also have programs available to pay for college costs. Talk to local recruiters for information about those and how they are repaid.
Some colleges have their own financial aid application form that you must complete. Search for it online. Always call the scholarship/financial aid office at colleges of interest to make sure of the requirements.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available online. Click here to learn more about FAFSA.
Have all of your tax information organized from the prior year. A tool to assist in forecasting federal financial assistance eligibility can be found at FAFSA4caster. Type FAFSA4caster into the search box.
Complete the FAFSA online and submit as soon after October 1 as possible. An SAR (student aid report) will be available in your FAFSA account after a few weeks. Read and follow all directions accompanying the SAR. The SAR should inform of an EFC (expected family contribution). This is the amount they have determined the student can afford to pay for college. If the cost of the college is more than your EFC, you have a financial need and should be eligible for financial assistance.
To be eligible for federal financial assistance, eighteen year old males must be registered with the selective service.
Sallie Mae® is proud to offer the College Planning Toolbox designed to help families plan for their child's college education. Within minutes, they can estimate the total cost of their child's education for all the years of the program and see simple yet effective ways to pay for school.
As families plan for college, many have asked the following questions:
How much will college cost?
What are the cost differences between federal and private loans?
How can we compare the cost of attendance for various schools?
What is the financial benefit of using savings to pay for school rather than taking out student loans?
What will our estimated monthly payments be after my child graduates, if student loans are an option?
In addition to the FAFSA, some private colleges and scholarship programs require submission of the CSS/Financial Aid Profile. The Profile is not an application, but a supplemental need analysis document used to determine eligibility for private, non-federal funds.