Financial aid is money that you apply for and receive to help pay for higher education or career training. Financial aid is offered through the federal government, the state where you live, the university you choose to attend, and nonprofit or private organizations.
Federal & State Programs
There are two federal loan programs offered by the U.S. Department of Education– The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, where the U.S. Department of Education is your lender, and The Federal Perkins Loan Program, a school-based loan program where the school is the lender.
Federal student loans usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources. If you qualify, your school will determine the amount you can borrow. That amount may not exceed your financial need.
Another type of financial aid that is offered is in the form of loans (or “not so free money”). Student loans are repaid over a period of time. They are subject to a variety of terms and limitations.
After exhausting all opportunities available from the federal and state aid programs, many parents and students will consider private loan programs as a source of funding. As always, taking on debt for any reason should be done deliberately and only for the amounts needed. If you plan to borrow a Private Educational Loan, you will need to select a lender. The lender is the institution from which the money is actually borrowed.
Grants are “free” money that is usually need-based. The only catch is that grants often stipulate that you must pay back all or a portion of the grant if you withdraw from school before completing an enrollment period (e.g. a semester). Federal grants include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. Grants are also available from states. In fact, most state “free money” financial aid is in the form of grants.
Work-Study is another way students can get financial assistance for their education. The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.
Director of Financial Aid
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
Financial Aid Counselor