PLEASE NOTE: Students without a high school diploma or its equivalent beginning on or after July 1, 2012 will be no longer qualify for and obtain federal financial aid including need-based state aid.
Financial aid is money provided by various agencies (federal, state and local governments, universities, com-munity organizations, and private corporations or individuals) to help students meet the costs of attending college. It includes gift aid - grants and scholarships - and self-help--loans and student employment.
Scholarships can be based on need, academic merit, academic concentration, athletic achievement, interests, or a host of other criteria. Scholarships are considered gift aid because they do not have to be paid back. Scholarships are awarded by states, institutions and departments, as well as by private companies and individuals. Scholarships may require a service commitment after you graduate in exchange for helping to finance your education.
Grants are gift aid awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Grants do not have to be repaid but may require a service or other commitment after you graduate in exchange for helping to finance your education.
Federal Pell Grants – need based grants
Student loan programs offer long-term, low-interest educational loans which allow students to defer repayment until after graduation. Generally, there are two types of education loans: Federal Education Loans (funded and/or guaranteed or insured by the federal government and Private Education/Alternative Loans (non-federal loans funded by banks and other lending institutions). Federal examples include:
- Federal Direct Student Loan - Subsidized – low fixed interest based on need
- Federal Direct Student Loan - Unsubsidized Loans – low fixed interest not based on need
- Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) – government guaranteed low, fixed interest not based on need
- Federal Perkins Loans – low, fixed interest, subsidized and awarded based on need
These are not loans, but programs funded by the state and federal government to allow students to work for an authorized work-study employer, typically on campus, during the school year.
Students can obtain part-time jobs to assist in meeting their college costs and, if possible, gain work experience in a field related to their chosen profession. Job duties range from those demanding special research skills to those demanding only the willingness to work.