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The cost of college can be daunting and it often discourages students from even applying. However, there are many resources that can dramatically bring down the cost!


WHAT IS FINANCIAL AID?

Financial aid can come in many forms including scholarships, grants, and loans.

A scholarship is free money and may require an application or essay from the student. They can be found in various places such as colleges, community foundations, high schools, businesses, churches, and banks.

A grant for college is also free money and can be received from the government or non-profits.

Loans require students to pay back the money borrowed plus interest. Students can obtain loans through the federal government, banks, or lending institutions for post secondary education. Federal loans always have the lowest interest rates and are much safer than taking out private loans.

HOW DO I GET FINANCIAL AID?

In order to receive ANY financial aid, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application can be a bit difficult if you have never filled it out before since parent information is often needed. Check out our step by step guide here for assistance!

WHAT IS THE PELL GRANT?

The Pell Grant is a form of Federal Financial Aid. Students can receive up to $6,345 per academic year.

The amount is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA.

To learn more about how Financial Aid is determined, click here to visit the Federal Student Aid Website.

IS IT SAFE TO ENTER MY FINANCIAL INFORMATION ON THE FAFSA?

Yes, it is absolutely safe! The FAFSA is located on the Federal Student Aid website, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Education. The website is secure and completing the FAFSA online is no different than filing your taxes online.

I DON’T WANT TO TAKE OUT ANY LOANS. IS IT EVEN WORTH FILING THE FAFSA?

Yes! Filing the FAFSA does not mean you have to take out loans- you can always decline the loan offer. However, loans are a reality for many students. 

Some scholarships and the Federal Pell Grant require the FAFSA to be filled out in order to qualify for these funds.

HOW DO I PAY MY TUITION USING MY FINANCIAL AID?

Scholarships, grants, and loans (federal, state, and private) are sent directly to the college you decide to enroll at.

If you win a private or local scholarship, they will send the money to the college’s financial aid office.

You will need to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) on the Federal Student Aid’s website. The MPN allows the U.S. Department of Education to disburse your funds. The college’s financial aid office will provide you with any additional instructions.

WHAT IS A MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE (MPN)?

In order to use your Direct Federal Loans, you will need to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) on the Federal Student Aid’s website. The MPN is a legal agreement that states you will repay your loan to the U.S. Department of Education. In order to complete this process, you will also go through Entrance Loan Counseling. The entire process may take up to 30 minutes.

Click here to visit the Federal Student Aid website to sign your MPN. You will need your FSA ID!

Need help understanding your College Financing Plan? Check out this page!

What Is "College"?

College is all post-secondary education including certificate programs, trade schools, community colleges and 4 year colleges and universities. Learn More