Financial Aid

Posted: September 27, 2012 by UI Upward Bound in College Info, Financial Aid

What is financial aid? Financial aid can come in many different forms, but essentially financial aid is money or resources that a student applies for and uses to attend college. Financial aid can be used to pay for everything it takes to be a college student, including paying tuition, food, rent, book, travel, and supplies. The most important thing is that students submit all the right forms on time.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the major form students must submit to be considered for financial aid. It is just one form which is submitted to the federal government and your information is sent to all of the colleges you list. Students and families can use theFAFSA4caster to understand the options available to from the federal government. Simply provide some basic information and the FAFSA4caster will estimate your eligibility for federal student aid. The FAFSA allows students to be considered for the three major types of government awarded financial aid – grants, work study, and loans.

Grants are “free” money that you do not have to pay back. They are considered gift aid and you do not need to work to earn them.

Work-Study is a federal and state program that allows students to earn money to pay for college. If you are awarded work-study money, you need to apply for jobs at your campus (or off campus depending on the college).

Loans are essentially money that you borrow and then pay back over time. There are many different types of loans (including some that do not charge interest while you are in school) so it is important to understand your financial aid award and what you are committing to.

Some colleges may require an additional financial aid form called theCSS/Financial Aid Profile (commonly referred to CSS Profile or the College Board Profile). Contact your potential colleges to see if you need to submit this form.

To learn more about the financial aid process visit: www.fafsa.ed.gov,www.knowhow2gowashington.orgwww.college.gov, orwww.collegeboard.com/student/pay.

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