Correct me if I’m wrong, but have you noticed that the college application process brings a plethora of new words that leave you more and more confused? FASFA? Loans? Grants? ….
..WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN!?
Learning about how financial aid works in college can be tricky, but with this cheat sheet, it will all make sense to you.
If you’re a student who wants any form of financial aid, you have to know what FASFA is and how it works.
FASFA – also known as the Free Application for Student Aid, this is a form that every current and prospective college student must fill out. The application opens on January 1st and must be completed annually. The information included determines the students’ eligibility for financial aid and is based primarily on family income. For more information, log ontohttp://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
FASFA will determine if students are eligible for the following:
Pell Grant – money from the federal government for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. These funds are not paid back.
Federal Student Loans – low interest loans from the U.S Department of Education that are expected to be paid back after graduation.
Federal Work Study- helps students fund their education by working a part – time job while in school.
Other types of financial aid:
Loans – borrowed money (often times from the government, bank or private organization) that is used to fund college but is required to be paid back.
Ex. Student loans from Sallie Mae
Scholarships – a type of financial aid that is NOT required to be paid back. Scholarships can be awarded for various things, including financial need, athletic abilities, musical talents, academics, geographic location and more.
Example: Gates Millennium Scholarship, Coca Cola Scholarship
Grants – another type of financial that is NOT required to be paid back. Grants are often, but not always, based on financial need. There are many types of grants such as federal and state grants, grants for low income students, private grants and more.
Example: Pell Grant
*If you need a better understanding of the difference between grants and scholarships, check out: http://www.exforsys.com/career-center/scholarships/difference-between-scholarship-and-grant.html
It would be wise to aim for finding scholarships and grants! It’s ok if you have to take out a loan, but the less debt you have after college, the better!
Good luck! Remember you are a scholar destined for greatness, you are a destined scholar.