Financial Aid 101: What You Need to Know

When it comes to college, one of the most important things to keep in mind is financial aid and what exactly it entails. Skipping by this key information can result in missing a whole world of financial opportunities that can help pay for college. There are many different resources for financial aid, and we want to make sure you know what opportunities are available.

GRANT: A grant is a form of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund, or you receive a TEACH Grant and don’t complete your service obligation). A variety of federal grants are available, including:

SCHOLARSHIP: A scholarship is a sum of money or other aid granted to a student, because of merit, need, etc., to pursue their studies. College Now offers and manages a variety of scholarships you can find here.

WORK-STUDY JOB: The Federal Work-Study Program allows you to earn money to pay for school by working part-time. You’ll earn at least the current federal minimum wage. However, you may earn more depending on the type of work you do and the skills required for the position. Your total work-study award depends on:

  • When you apply
  • Your level of financial need
  • Your school’s funding level

LOAN: A loan is borrowed money that must be paid back, typically with interest. It is important to understand your repayment options prior to applying for your loan. The most common kinds of loans are the ones provided by the U.S Department of Education, which can be accessed by applying for the FAFSA.

The federal government offers two different loans: direct subsidized and direct unsubsidized. What’s the difference? Find out here!

Aid for Military Families: There are special aid programs or additional aid eligibility for serving in the military or for being the spouse or child of a veteran. Find out more here!

Aid From Your College or Career School: Many schools offer financial aid from their own grant and/or scholarship funds. Find out what might be available to you:

  • Visit your school’s financial aid page on its website, or contact the financial aid office
  • Ask at the department that offers your course of study, as they might have a scholarship for students in your major
  • Fill out any applications your school requires for its own aid programs, and meet your school’s deadlines.

As always, if you have any questions about financial aid or anything else relating to college, you can always come to us! We want to help.