**Students! Don't forget to apply for merit and other scholarships at your perspective colleges**
**Apply for community, foundation, organizational, and private scholarships immediately
**use scholarship websites!**
There are three types of financial aid for college:
grants or scholarships, loans and work-study.
1. Grants and scholarships are free money that you do not pay back.
Most grants and scholarships come from the federal and state government or from the individual college.
2. Loans need to be paid back after college. There are many loan programs available from the federal
and state government with low interest rates. There are also private loans that have a higher interest rate.
3. Work-study is a job offered on the college campus.
Need based aid vs Merit based aid
Need-based aid is given by all colleges to students who have need. A form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines the amount of need for federal grants and scholarships. Some colleges also require a CSS Profile form (College Scholarship Service Profile).
The FAFSA form is filled out beginning October 1 .
The FAFSA and CSS Profile forms ask questions about the income of the parents and student using information that you gave on your tax returns. These forms also ask questions about the amount of money you have in savings or investments.
Once these forms are completed the government uses the FAFSA form to determine how much your family can pay for college. This is your expected family contribution or your EFC. Your EFC is the same regardless of the cost of the college. Similarly, the individual colleges who use the CSS Profile use that form to determine what your family can pay for college. Your need is the cost of the college you are looking at minus your EFC.
Merit-based aid includes scholarships typically for students who have good grades or have some other special talent such as athletic or musical talent.
- Learn about exploring careers, choosing and applying to schools, and taking required tests.
- Read about the types of financial aid available from the government and other sources: grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study.
- Most people are eligible for financial aid.
- Learn how to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM)
- Choose a repayment plan, pay on time, avoid default, and get help with problems.
The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid
Free Scholarship and Financial Aid Information