Types of Financial Aid
Grants – This type of aid does not have to be repaid, but there may be an obligation regarding grades while in college, selection of major, or employment upon graduation. Grants are awards that may be based on financial need or other eligibility criteria.
Scholarships – Scholarship recipients may have to meet criteria such as academic achievement, extracurricular activities, community involvement, etc. They may also require certain criteria to be met while in college.
Loans – These usually have lower interest rates than commercial loans and must be repaid generally after you have graduated or left college.
Student employment or work aid – This may mean a job that the college located for you or employment you found on your own.
How to Apply For Financial Aid
Contact the colleges to which you are applying, either online or by mail, to request information about scholarships and financial aid. Complete the applications neatly and accurately (first impressions are important). Meet your deadlines! Be careful of scams from unscrupulous people.
Use free websites to do scholarships searches (list available in this packet). Start your search for scholarships in September of your senior year. Scholarships are available throughout the year. Criteria for scholarships vary widely: academic merit, leadership, service to school and community, talent, financial need, etc.
FAFSA is the U.S. Dept. of Education’s free application for federal student aid. In October, go to http://pin.ed.gov to request a pin number that you will need to be able to complete the FAFSA. Complete the FAFSA as early as possible in October. The form should be done online at: www.fafsa.ed.gov (this is the only free website). Most colleges award financial need monies based on the determination of need on the FAFSA report. You will need your pin number to access the student aid report (SAR) online.
The State of Pennsylvania requires that you complete the FAFSA to be considered for any State financial aid programs.
The CSS/PROFILE is a financial aid application used by a number of private colleges and universities. There is a fee for this application. Apply early. There are many local scholarships available for students. Contact civic organizations for applications. The school counseling office publishes lists of scholarships throughout the year. It is your responsibility to complete applications and meet the submission deadlines. Attend the financial aid evening presentation with your parents here at our school (date to be announced).