"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." ~Beverly Sills
Financial Aid: is any grant or scholarship (you don't pay back), loan (you do pay back), or paid employment offered to help a student meet his/her college expenses. Such aid is usually provided by various sources such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations.
Three sources of scholarship money:
1. Academic Scholarship- available through the college/ university. These are guaranteed as long as you meet the GPA and test score requirement.
2. F.A.F.S.A- Pell Grant/ Student loan qualifier (see more below)
3. Private Scholarships- Thousands are out there each with different qualifications and requirements to apply. This takes research and organization. Use this spreadsheet to help track scholarships you want to apply for and those you do apply for. Though summer is a great time to start your research, however, scholarship are available throughout the year. Stop by the college/ career center for more details
F.A.F.S.A (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
What is it?
The FAFSA the form that the federal government uses to determine your eligibility for federal aid. This aid includes grants, scholarships, work-study and loans.
How does it work?
Using your FAFSA, the federal processor determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
EFC the amount of money your family can be expected to contribute each year to your college costs. Your school will then try to meet your need through a financial aid award made up of funds from federal, state, school and private sources as well as loans, grants and student employment.
Where can I get one?
Complete FAFSA online
Get a paper version online or call
How to prepare for filing the FAFSA:
• Have your Social Security number, or Alien Registration (USCIS) number
• 2018 taxes (W-2s, records of money earned)
• Current bank statements and investment statements
• Records of untaxed income
• Create an FSA ID prior to this event by clicking here, and then clicking on the Create an FSA ID tab. Students may stop by the College and Career Center anytime after Fall Break for assistance with obtaining your FSA ID.
The FAFSA will open October 1. Federal Student Aid website. The FAFSA site offers several resources to answer questions. There is also a glossary that provides information on various college and financial aid terms.
Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1. You must apply each year. Since funds are limited at many schools, early submission maximizes your chances of receiving financial aid.
Submit the FAFSA whether or not you think you qualify for aid.
Sometimes being rejected for federal aid is a prerequisite for receiving private awards.
Contact your prospective college's financial aid office for additional information. Your school may require forms in addition to the FAFSA or may have an earlier submission deadline.
5 Most Common FAFSA Mistakes
- Do not leave a field blank. Use a zero if the question does not apply to you.
- Don't forget to report ALL required sources of untaxed income.
- Use the 1040 Federal tax return for reporting income and taxes paid, not the W-2.
- Include yourself in household size, even if you didn't live there the previous year.
- Sign the application. If you are filing as a dependent, make sure your parents sign too.