Even though financial aid was originally intended for those who needed it most; it actually goes to those who know the most about the process. -News & World Reports
money which helps students and their families pay for college. This financial assistance covers not only tuition & fees but related educational expenses including room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. There are several types of financial aid: Gift-aid (grants and scholarships) and Self-help aid (work- study and loans).
Financial Aid comes from:
There are four main types of financial aid:
Grants & Scholarships (Gift-Aid) and Loans & Work-Study (Self-help Aid)
1. Grants are called gift-aid because you don't have to be paid back. Grants come from the federal and state governments, and colleges. Most grants are need-based which means that they are usually given based on a family's financial situation.
2. Scholarships are also gift-aid. These come from governments, colleges and private organizations. They usually are awarded for individual accomplishments such as academic achievement, athletic or artistic ability, interests, volunteer work, etc.
3. Loans: Borrowing money from a bank, government or lending company is to take out a loan. A loan must be paid back with interest. The Federal government offers low-interest loans to students with financial need.
4. Work-Study Programs: College programs that enable students to work part-time while attending school.
The student must apply and be accepted for enrollment by the college in order to receive financial aid. The student must complete an application for financial aid (financial aid form). The two basic types of financial applications are the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and the CSS PROFILE forms.
1. FAFSA Process
The FAFSA form is used to calculate the Federal Methodology EFC and is used by every accredited college in the country to calculate a student’s need. Filling out the FAFSA can be a straightforward and easy process. The online FAFSA at fafsa.gov will guide you through the application; click on the “Start A New FAFSA” button on the home page, and just follow the directions on the screen.
2. CSS PROFILE
The CSS PROFILE form is used by about 300 elite private colleges to calculate the Institutional Methodology EFC (IM). As with the FAFSA, certain colleges have their own deadlines for filing this form. These elite schools use the CSS/PROFILE to consider financial aid that it will distribute from its own institutional offers.
Registration and completion of the CSS/PROFILE form can only be done via the Internet. Since there is a registration fee, as well as a processing fee per school, you should carefully review each college's financial aid requirements in order to determine which ones need the PROFILE information.
Needs analysis is the process of determining the financial need of the student. If a student has no financial need the student will not be eligible for most types of federal, state, or college financial aid. Needs analysis is calculated using the following formula:
Cost of Attendance (COA)
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
= Financial Need
- Resources of the Student
= Adjusted Financial Need
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount of money that the family is expected to contribute to the total cost of college. The EFC is computed by using family financial data submitted on the financial aid application form(s) submitted. By gaining your EFC, you can estimate how much your family will be expected to contribute for the year.