Below are links to a number of resources to guide the process of financial assistance, including information on the different types of financial support available to students and their families, as well as a list of some of the most common questions and answers.
We encourage all families to complete FAFSA as soon as possible. After you complete FAFSA, boost your financial aid package with money from scholarships or run a free scholarship search to find awards.
Based on your attendance costs, your school will determine how much you can borrow. However, the amount you may borrow is determined by the school and may not be higher than the amount included in your FAFSA or your financial needs under the EFC in the FAFSA.
If you face a higher-than-expected tuition bill, you may consider cutting your college costs or borrowing to pay for college or use the millions of dollars that students are awarded each year. Always keep an eye on how government policies affect your ability to borrow or receive a grant.
Providing information to schools can be problematic because schools learn about other sources of funding for pupils and can adjust their financial assistance packages accordingly.
Graduates and vocational students enrolled in certain health professions may receive an additional direct, unsubsidized loan amount each academic year. This program offers many protections that private loans rarely offer: Congress sets the interest rate, decides whether the loan is unsubsidized, and determines which loans are subsidized and which are not. The interest-free, subsidized loans are available only to students.
Unsubsidized direct loans are available to students and doctoral candidates without the need to demonstrate financial necessity. Direct, subsidized loans are most sought after because they have lower interest rates and longer repayment periods than private loans. These student loans also offer an extended repayment period, making it easier for students to choose payment methods that reflect their financial situation.
Some institutions require an additional application process to take into account such awards, while others automatically take into account students who are accepted into their programs on merit - based scholarships and other financial assistance. The process is the same for graduates, but they may not be eligible for some undergraduate programs, including federal Pell grants. Students must apply to their university's tax office to receive additional financial assistance, although information about this process is not always clear or available online. These application procedures are established by the agencies that provide funding and are often based on data transmitted through FAFSA.
If providing financial information to the government is your primary method of calculating a student's financial needs, your college should have access to that information.
The process of financial aid can be daunting when you go through it without the help of a reliable source, but frankly it is one of the most important steps you will take during the application process at the college. FAFSA will answer most of your questions and determine how much money you can receive. It helps if you have an impressive academic record, but much of that funding is need based.