Financial Aid

  • What is Financial Aid?

    Financial aid has been created to supplement what parents and students are able to contribute to meet the costs of a college education. It is assumed by the financial aid system that the cost of higher education is ultimately the responsibility of the family. This federally funded system has been designed to provide access and choice to those students who would otherwise be limited in their educational opportunities. Financial need is determined by calculating all the various costs of the education and subtracting an estimated family contribution (this link takes you to the official US Government financial aid calculator).

    COST OF ATTENDING COLLEGE (Total attendance budget)
    - AMOUNT FAMILY CAN CONTRIBUTE (Expected Family Contribution)
    = FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILTY (The Family’s “need”)

    Most financial aid packages include:

    • Grants (need-based money) and Gifts (merit-based monies). Grants and gifts do not have to be
      repaid. Some schools term these “scholarship.”
    • College Work Study allows students to work either on or near campus in a job arranged by the
      Financial Aid Office.
    • Loans, which usually have low interest rates, must be repaid.
    • Federal and/or State Loans must be repaid as stipulated.

    Application Process for Need-Based Financial Aid
    To qualify for financial aid, a student should use one or both of the following forms. Check with
    the college to find out which form(s) is required. Some colleges have their own additional needs
    analysis form. It is your responsibility to find out what each individual school is asking for.

    • FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the application all students must file to be considered for the Title IV aid and the HOPE Scholarship. All families desiring financial aid should complete this form. Aid begins with the FAFSA. The FAFSA is to be completed, signed, and submitted on or after January 1 of the student’s senior year. This form should be completed and mailed before February 15.
    • CSSPROFILE: This is a form required by many private colleges. Check with the college or if it is required.