What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is money lent or given to you to help pay for college tuition and related expenses. Financial aid can come from the state or federal government, the college you attend and other resources. Depending on the type of aid you receive, these funds can be used to cover your college tuition and fees as well as other education-related expenses like room and board or textbooks. Most full-time college students receive some kind of financial aid. To qualify for financial aid, you have to apply. Click here to read about the financial aid process.
What Types of Financial Aid Exist?
GrantsGrants are a type of gift aid that does not have to be paid back. Grants come from federal and state governments and also from colleges. Grants are typically need-based. Need-based financial aid is usually given based on your family's or your financial circumstances.ScholarshipsScholarships are also gifts that do not have to be paid back. Scholarships may be awarded from governments, universities and even private organizations and businesses. Most scholarships are merit-based. They may be given for academic or athletic ability, interest in a certain area, volunteer work, or even membership in ethic or religious groups. Sometimes companies will even give out scholarships to the children of their employees.LoansWhen students and their parents borrow money from a lending company, bank, or government, they are taking out a loan. Loans must be paid back with interest. The federal government offers low interest loans to students with financial need. Other lenders may be offered through your college or university.Work-Study ProgramsFederal work-study programs offer students part-time jobs to help pay for part of their college.*Information from Big Future (https://www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org)
Financial Aid Resources
- www.studentaid.ed.gov -- Federal student aid information from the U.S. Dept. of Education
- www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility -- Learn about eligibility criteria for federal student aid programs
- www.in.gov/ssaci/ -- Student aid information from the state of Indiana
- www.learnmoreindiana.org -- College and financial aid information with links
- www.cashforcollegeindiana.org -- Learn how to save and find money for school
- www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org -- College and financial aid information with links
- www.triptocollege.org -- College and financial aid information with links