To learn more about financial aid, watch this short video:
FAFSA—To be eligible to receive financial aid from federal, state, or college sources in the form of grants, loans, work-study, and many scholarships, students need to file a FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The application can be found here: https://fafsa.ed.gov
Grants--Most grants are need-based. This means that they are usually awarded based on the family’s financial situation. They may come from the government, the college, or other organizations. They are gifts and don't need to be paid back. For more information, look here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/pell
Scholarships--Most scholarships are merit-based. They are awarded to students with certain qualities, such as proven academic or athletic ability or leadership skills. They also are gifts and don’t need to be paid back. One good internet resource to help you find scholarships can be found here: http://www.fastweb.com Another research tool called SmartScholar can be found here: http://www.smartscholar.com/
You might also try the Scholly App to find scholarships that match your qualifications.
Loans--Loans may come from the federal or state government, from the college itself, or from other sources. They must be paid back by the student or parent (depending on the type of loan). One common type of loan, the Stafford Loan, is subsidized by the federal government. As a result, the student doesn't have to begin making payments on this type of loan until several months after he or she is out of college. To learn more about federal loans, click here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized
Work- Study—requires the student to work part-time at an on-campus job once he or she arrives on campus. This aid is given directly to the student in the form of a paycheck. Usually, it is up to the student to find a work- study job—although the financial aid or other office will often help to place students. Click here for more information:
For a great online tool to find and compare colleges, look here: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/
Net Price Calculator is a tool to help you estimate what you will actually have to pay to attend a particular college.
http://studentnpc.collegeboard.org/what-is- a-net- price-calculator