What is Student Financial Aid

What is Student Financial Aid ?

Grants, Scholarships, Federal Loans or Private Loans or all of the above

Student financial aid in the funding targeted for students in government or private educational institution to pay tuition fees, books, living and other expenses (room and board, if living in college housing, commuting expenses) etc. The determining criteria is the same irrespective of post-secondary educational institution: a professional school, community college, four-year college, or university. Federal and state subsides and grants awarded to post-secondary educational institutions do not constitute financial aid. General governmental funding in the form of subsidies for public education (not designated for an individual student) is not considered to be financial aid. Financial aid is the funding awarded directly to the individual student recipient. A financial aid packages from students’ intended college can be in form of a grant, scholarship, and/or loan or a little bit of all of them based on availability of funding and eligibility of the student.

There are typically two sources of financial aid :

1. Need Based Student Financial Aid Package – Grant packages such as Pell and other types of grants, are pure grants and students are not required to repay the grant. These grants are like scholarships, but awarded on the basis of economic needs of the student rather than academic achievements or promise. Read more about Need-Based Financial Aid.
2. Merit Based Student Financial Aid Package – Merit-based grants or what we know as “scholarships “, include monies and scholarships offered by the college or university and those awarded by outside organizations.  Recipients of  Merit-based scholarships typically have outstanding academic achievements, highest SAT or ACT scores, and sometimes for special skills, talents, leadership potential and other personal characteristics. Read more about Merit Based Student Financial Aid.

There are different types of financial aid offered. Scholarships, grants, work study and more. Read more about types of financial aid



Summarizing ,

  • Student Financial Aid helps pay the cost of attending college;
  • Some financial aid programs are need-based, while others merit based;
  • Yet, Some financial aid programs may be based on other criteria – not need
  • Financial aid may consist of  one or a combination of Scholarships, grants, work study etc.. Read more about types of types of financial aid

Continue to read about Student Financial Aid – Sources of Financial Aid

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