Financial Aid

Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school.

There are four types of financial aid that are available to students. They are grants, scholarships, loans and the work-study program. The definitions of the different types of financial aid offered are listed below:

Grants – Grants do not have to be repaid. The federal government, state and colleges provide grant funds for students attending colleges, including career colleges and universities.

Scholarships – Scholarships are grants or payments made to support a student’s education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement. In order to received scholarships, one must apply for them. Scholarships do not need to be repaid.

Federal Work-Study – Federal Work-Study is self-help aid and is awarded to students with financial need. Students can work part-time to earn this award money. The money earned can be used to help the student with their additional tuition cost as well as personal cost. Work-study jobs can be found on or off campus through the school’s Financial Aid Office.  You must complete the FAFSA and answer yes to the question about whether you want work study to be eligible for work study.

Loans – Federal loans are borrowed funds that must repaid with interest. A federal student loan allows students and their parents to borrow money to help pay for college through loan programs supported by the federal government. They have low interest rates and offer flexible repayment terms, benefits, and options. There are several types of loans, so make sure you have all of the necessary information about each particular type of loan available to you.

Each student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the college can award the student financial aid. The financial aid office at the college you want to attend will use the information on the FAFSA application to determine the amount of federal and institutional grants and loans you are eligible to receive.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid also known as FAFSA, is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.  The application is used to apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study funds for college students. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Education, which provides more than $150 billion in student aid each year.  Your eligibility for federal grants (which don’t have to be repaid) and federal loans (which do) will generally be based on your financial need, as determined by the information you supply on your FAFSA. Learn more at our annual FAFSA Kickoff event.

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) The Pennsylvania State Grant Program is a financial assistance program that provides funding to eligible Pennsylvanians and helps them afford the costs of higher education.

Many students miss out on this “free” state money. Dont let that be you. After you have completed the FAFSA, you will see a page that says you have completed the FAFSA. Please make sure to read this page carefully, this is where you will find the link to the State Grant.

Student Loan Information

Before borrowing money for college, you should gather all of the necessary information in order to make an informed decision. There are many websites online that offer free information and resources. A few of those sites are listed below.

Federal Student Aid – Students and parents can explore the site for information about the Direct Loan Program, including helpful publications and tools to help manage their Direct Loans.

The College Board – Big Future – The more you know about college loans — what’s available, where to find them and how they work — the easier it will be for you to choose the right one.

Additional Resources

FAFSA4caster is a free financial aid calculator that gives you an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This information helps families plan ahead for college.

Net Price Calculator – Net price calculators are available on a college’s or university’s website and allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account.