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Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aide Financial Aid

Scholarships & Grants

Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money ~ financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based.

Grants and scholarships can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school, or a private or nonprofit organization. Do your research, apply for any grants or scholarships you might be eligible for, and be sure to meet application deadlines!

Occasionally you might have to pay back part or all of a grant if, for example, you withdraw from school before finishing an enrollment period such as a semester.

Loans

If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your school’s financial aid offer. A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest.

If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources. Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

Here’s a quick overview of Federal Work-Study:

  • It provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school.
  • It’s available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with financial need.
  • It’s available to full-time or part-time students.
  • It’s administered by schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out if your school participates.

Basic Eligibility Requirements for Financial Aid

General eligibility requirements are that you must:

If you were enrolled in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012, you may show you’re qualified to obtain a higher education by:
  • passing an approved ability-to-benefit test (if you don’t have a diploma or GED, a college can administer a test to determine whether you can benefit from the education offered at that school);
  • completing six credit hours or equivalent course work toward a degree or certificate (you may not receive aid while earning the six credit hours); or
  • meeting other federally approved standards your state establishes.

For information about these criteria, talk to the financial aid office The office at a college or career school that is responsible for preparing and communicating information on financial aid.  This office helps students apply for and receive student loans, grants, scholarships and other types of financial aid. at your school.

Most male students must be registered with Selective Service to receive federal student aid. You also must register if you are a male and are not currently on active duty in the U.S. armed forces. If you are a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands or the Republic of Palau, you are exempt from registering. You can call Selective Service toll-free at 1-888-655-1825 for general information about registering, or register online at www.sss.gov or via the FAFSA.

For more information, visit...

studentaid.ed.gov

fafsa.ed.gov

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