Financial Aid is money that is offered to a college student in the form of a grant, scholarship, loan, and/or paid employment. The money can be used to pay for college and any expenses collected during college. The money can come from many different places such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, private funding, and corporations.
There are four types of financial aid for college students including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study funds. Take a look below to figure out which type of financial aid is best for you.
Grants are a type of financial aid that is like a gift, a person does not have to pay it back. The money is given to a student by the federal and/or state government or by another institution. Students who receive grants may be awarded to them because of good grades, a student’s lack of money, or because the student fit a profile. An example of a student profile may be based on many student factors like nationality, disability, locality, etc. Grants are typically very popular and winning a grant is very difficult because a person does not have to repay the money. The federal government offers the following grants:
- Pell Grants– Pell grants are usually awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree or professional degree. The amount of aid you receive depends on your financial need, the school’s cost of attendance, and other factors.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)– FSEOG are grants for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. FSEOG are administered directly by the financial aid offices of participating schools.
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants– TEACH grants can help you pay for school if you plan to become a teacher and teach in high-need fields in low-income areas. In order to qualify for a TEACH grant, you must commit to teaching for a certain length of time.
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants– Iraq and Afghanistan service grants provide money to students whose parent or guardian died during military service in Iraq or Afghanistan.
A scholarship is another type of money that a student can receive for college that does not have to be paid back. Scholarships are typically offered by companies, individuals, and schools. Scholarships can be awarded based on a number of different criteria like grades, a person’s ability in sports, nationality, locality, religious affiliation, and career choice just to name a few. In order to apply for a scholarship, you will often be asked to write an essay.
A loan is money given to a student that eventually a student and/or parent must pay back with interest. Loans are offered by many different types of groups such as the federal government, the school a student is attending and/or private institutions.
The two main types of federal loans available for college students include:
- Subsidized Loans– For students with financial need. The terms of the loan are better than Unsubsidized loans because the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while a person is in school and six months after a person graduates.
- Unsubsidized Loans– Unsubsidized loans are available to any student whether a student has financial need or not. These loans immediately charge interest on the life of the loan.
There are also specialized student loans available, such as PLUS loans and Perkins Loans:
- PLUS Loans – PLUS loans are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for expenses not covered by other financial aid options.
- Perkins Loans– Perkins loans are school-based loans for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.
Private loans from private banks, like Wells Fargo are eligible to anyone at anytime. These loans have higher interest rates and a person must be eligible to receive such a loan. Private loans are not recommended for students unless all other options have been explored.
A work-study program is where a student works and earns money while going to school. A work study program will not pay for college but will help pay some bills. Typically the job is on campus and are jobs working in the student center, career center, athletic department, and residence halls.
Read this article on Financial Aid Terms .
Ask the tutors if they have loans and what types of loans they have for more information.