Breaking down Financial Assistance and Scholarships

You find yourself considering a scholarship or grant to aid you in the hefty expense of your academic future.  Many of you may not be aware of the types of financial aid and/or financial gifts that are made available.  

Where does financial aid come from?

Let’s call this a quad source.  These four sources of aid come from state government, the federal government, private organizations and postsecondary institutions.  

State Government Aid

State governments will offer you tuition assistance, work-study funds, state loans, scholarships, and grants.

Federal Government Aid

The federal government is at the top of the list with the most funds being dispersed to students.  The government offers work-study funds, grants, and loans.  You can apply for these by filling out a free application called FAFSA, which is an application for Federal Student Aid.

Private Organization Aid

Private aid can come from numerous sources.  Religious/ cultural organizations, corporations, and professional organizations, to name a few.  This assistance comes in the form of scholarships and loans.

Postsecondary Institution Aid

Institution aid comes from colleges and universities.  They offer work-study programs, grants, and scholarships based on academic merit and athletics.  

Not every institution offers the same types of financial aid to their students, so will have to contact your choice schools to speak with a financial aid officer and compare which school offers the best level of aid specifically for you.

How do you apply for financial aid and scholarships?

You could start by filling out a FAFSA and/or the CSS/Financial aid PROFILE.  Outside scholarships will most likely have their own types of applications.  

You can speak with your school counselor on how to locate these types of scholarships or even do an online search by using College Board’s Scholarship Search.

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