Student financial aid is the money to help for the payment of college or school. There are some facts that you should know before applying for student aid. You should also know about the procedure and about the FAFSA. Here in this article, I am providing the basics of Student Financial Aid and FAFSA.
Student Financial Aid and FAFSA
Student Financial Aid
Financial aid, also known as scholarship helps students and their families make the payment for college. This financial aid covers almost everything from educational expenses including tuition fees, room, board, books, supplies, and also transportation.
Sources of Student Financial Aid
- The U.S. federal government– The U.S. federal government offers more than $120 billion a year for student aid to more than 13 million students. It bears such expenses as tuition fees, room, board, books and supplies, and transportation. Even student aid will also help you pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care.
- The state where you live– If you’re not eligible for federal aid, you may try for financial aid from your state. You can contact your state grant agency for more information.
- Educational institutions or the college you attend– There are many colleges that offer financial aid from their own funds. you can visit your school’s website.
- Private agencies or a nonprofit organization– There are some nonprofit organizations or private agencies that also offer for student aid.
Types of Student Financial Aid
Student financial aid is offered as grants, education loans, work-study, and scholarships.
- Grants: Grants come from the wide range of government departments, universities or colleges, or private agencies funds. Students get this grants who are in financial need and who are on the academic merit list.
- Education Loans: Education loans are usually taken out by the student or parent for the payment of educational expenses. Those families who are in need of financial aid take a loan for the educational purposes. But this money must be repaid with a quiet amount of interest. Educational loan options include federal student loans, federal parent loans, private loans, and consolidation loans.
- Work-Study: The Work-Study Program is also a kind of student financial aid. Work-study jobs allow students to get campus jobs. These jobs are more flexible in timing and with the interest of students. Students who are in need of financial aid can easily work on a part-time basis. Thus they can bear their educational expenses.
- Scholarships: The terms ‘grants’ and ‘scholarships’ are frequently used interchangeably. But, there is a difference. Though scholarships have a financial need component there are other criteria also. Scholarships are often merit-based but grants are about need-based.
Scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid as educational loans. Scholarships come from the state, educational institutions, and private agencies or nonprofit organizations. Scholarships are offered or awarded on the basis of merit list, financial need, student’s creativity, career field, athletic ability and others.
What is FAFSA?
Student financial aid and FAFSA are related to each other. FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. When a student wants or is in need of financial aid, he/she needs to go through the processing of FAFSA. He/she needs to fill this application form up, and this is for free!
How FAFSA Works?
FAFSA works as the student financial aid providers. It is actually about the processing. After completing the FAFSA form, a Student Aid Report (SAR) is given to the students. The SAR basically selects a student if he/she is eligible for the financial aid. It sorts it out what is your family’s income and assets. They will examine what dollar amount you can contribute to the college education based on your family’s combined household income. So, students should carefully review the SAR for errors and make any corrections if necessary immediately. There is a new version of the SAR (called an ISIR) is updated with the electronic system and it is available to the colleges or universities’ student including the FAFSA.
Students who are willing to study in abroad and seeking for the scholarships or other financial aid should know about this basic information about the student financial aid and FAFSA.