Financial Aid

Need help paying for college. Start here and explore the world of financial aid, scholarships, loans, grants and more.


Preparing to go off to college is an exciting time, but wondering how you will pay for it may leaveyou a bit overwhelmed. Whether you are looking at a vocational school, college or university, always check with your school to see if they have any academic awards or scholarships that will fit your profile.

Here are some tools to utilize in your search for financial aid.


  • If you’re interested in financial aid for college you will need to complete the FAFSA application: www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) www.nasfaa.org provides students and parents with information and advice about finding and applying for financial aid.
  • The Office of the U.S. Department of Education’s guide to financial aid; studentaid.ed.gov/resources#funding

Other types of Aid:

Grants & Scholarships

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 state and federal governments, your college or vocational school, or from private or nonprofit organizations. Do your research and plan ahead; most of these scholarships and grants have deadlines. studentaid.ed.gov


Loans

A loan is money that is borrowed and must be paid back with interest. Be sure you understand the terms of loans, the interest that will be charged and when you will have to begin paying the loans back. Remember these loans cannot be discharged or forgiven. Learn the differences between private and federal loans. studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans


Savings

Do you have a pre-paid college saving plan or a 529 plan? Now is the time to check with your financial planner or research how and when you can use these funds. Visit the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s web site to learn more about the differences between pre-paid tuition plans and college savings plans at: www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/intro529.htm


Military Aid

Both the federal government and nonprofit organizations offer money for college to veterans, future military personnel, active duty personnel, or those related to veterans or active duty personnel. To learn more visit: studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/military


Loans

A loan is money that is borrowed and must be paid back with interest. Be sure you understand the terms of loans, the interest that will be charged and when you will have to begin paying the loans back. Remember these loans cannot be discharged or forgiven. Learn the differences between private and federal loans. studentaid.ed.gov


The Veterans Administration (VA) also offers educational benefits for veterans, their widows and dependents on its GI Bill. More information is available at: www.gibill.va.gov/


Tax Deductions

Did you know that there may be tax credits, deductions and savings plans can help taxpayers with their expensesfor higher education. To see if you may qualify consult a tax professional or visit: Tax-Benefits-for-Education:-Information-Center

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