Federal Student Aid
The first website you MUST visit is the Federal Student Aid website.
Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. The office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students paying for college or career school.
Regardless of your income, or that of your parents, it is important that you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is a form that is filled out each year by current and prospective college students in the US to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. Every year thousands of students miss out on funding because they think that they do not qualify and do not bother to fill out this form. In 2014 this amounted to a staggering $2.9 billion in unused federal grant awards! Make sure that this is the first website you will visit: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
You can submit your application on October 1.
The financial aid comes in several types, the most common of which are
- The Pell Grant – which is a grant of up to $5,815 (as of the 2016-17 Award Year) for students with a low expected family contribution (Find Money)
- The Stafford Loan consisting of a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (the interest is paid by the government while the student is enrolled at least half time) and the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (the interest accumulates onto the outstanding balance) (Find Money)
- The Federal Work-Study Program which is a program where students can get part-time on work on-, up to a certain amount. In most cases, the federal government pays half of a student’s wage and the school pays the other half (Make Money)
Check if you are eligible for any grants or loans: