Understanding Financial Aid

Click each option to learn more.

  • Federal Aid

    The federal government, specifically the U.S Department of Education offers financial aid for eligible students to help towards qualified higher education expenses.

  • FAFSA

    To apply for aid, students and parents must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. A majority of the financial aid is limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The federal deadline is June 30th each year, but there are varying state and school dates that applicants have to meet.

  • Other Sources

    Many states and schools use the FAFSA to consider eligibility, however students can also apply for outside scholarships or funding from other sources. Some schools also use the College Scholarship Service PROFILE form, a non-federal financial aid application, offered by The College Board.

  • Renewal

    To continue receiving financial aid, FAFSA offers a pre-filled renewal application for those that submitted the previous year.

  • Eligibility

    Regardless of income or need, most families are eligible for various types of aid.

  • Types of Financial Aid

    A typical financial aid package may include some or a combination of the following:

    • Grants: do not have to be repaid under normal circumstances
    • Loans: the parents or student can borrow money for educational expenses under federal loan programs, which typically offer preferred interest rates and are either subsidized or unsubsidized by the government
      • Subsidized: the student is not responsible for paying interest while enrolled in school
      • Unsubsidized: the student is responsible for paying the interest accrued while enrolled in school, but payments on the primary loan can be deferred until 6 months after graduation
    • Work-study: students have the option to work part-time and earn an hourly wage up to the awarded work-study award
  • Expected Family Contribution

    The FAFSA application uses aid methodology to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the minimum dollar amount the student and family, is expected to contribute towards the cost of college.

  • Financial Need

    Although colleges and government entities utilize different formulas to determine a student's eligibility for aid, many incorporate a basic formula:
    Annual college attendance cost minus EFC = financial need.

  • Federal Aid

    The federal government, specifically the U.S Department of Education offers financial aid for eligible students to help towards qualified higher education expenses.

  • FAFSA

    To apply for aid, students and parents must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. A majority of the financial aid is limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The federal deadline is June 30th each year, but there are varying state and school dates that applicants have to meet.

  • Other Sources

    Many states and schools use the FAFSA to consider eligibility, however students can also apply for outside scholarships or funding from other sources. Some schools also use the College Scholarship Service PROFILE form, a non-federal financial aid application, offered by The College Board.

  • Renewal

    To continue receiving financial aid, FAFSA offers a pre-filled renewal application for those that submitted the previous year.

  • Eligibility

    Regardless of income or need, most families are eligible for various types of aid.

  • Types of Financial Aid

    A typical financial aid package may include some or a combination of the following:

    • Grants: do not have to be repaid under normal circumstances
    • Loans: the parents or student can borrow money for educational expenses under federal loan programs, which typically offer preferred interest rates and are either subsidized or unsubsidized by the government
      • Subsidized: the student is not responsible for paying interest while enrolled in school
      • Unsubsidized: the student is responsible for paying the interest accrued while enrolled in school, but payments on the primary loan can be deferred until 6 months after graduation
    • Work-study: students have the option to work part-time and earn an hourly wage up to the awarded work-study award
  • Expected Family Contribution

    The FAFSA application uses aid methodology to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the minimum dollar amount the student and family, is expected to contribute towards the cost of college.

  • Financial Need

    Although colleges and government entities utilize different formulas to determine a student's eligibility for aid, many incorporate a basic formula:
    Annual college attendance cost minus EFC = financial need.

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