What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money students receive to help pay for educational expenses at postsecondary school (college, university, vocational school, graduate school). Financial Aid covers expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can help pay for a computer and dependent care. There are two types of financial aid: gift aid and self-help aid.

[messagebox title=”GIFT AID”]Gifts of money to pay for college that you do not have to pay back, which includes scholarships and grants. This type of aid is based on demonstrating need and is designed to help students who otherwise cannot afford to pay for college. Scholarships can be merit based or need-based and are intended to reward students based on grades, talent, creativity, leadership and community service.[/messagebox]

[messagebox title=”SELF-HELP AID”]Includes employment from a part-time job, work-study (a student job on or near campus while attending school), or a loan that must to be repaid with interest.[/messagebox]

The Rules

There are three rules for obtaining financial aid to attend college: apply early and often, apply early and often, and apply early and often. Yes, it sounds redundant and it is redundant. But the truth of the matter is that this is how one successfully achieves college financial aid success. There are many levels  to reach in order to successfully obtain financial aid.

 Sources: Florida Department of Education, Office of Student Financial Assistance, U.S. Department of Education.

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