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FINANCIAL AID, GRANTS & STUDENT LOANS
College Costs and Financial Aid

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Financial aid effectively helps to reduce the costs of earning a college degree. The availability of scholarships, grants, student loans and work study provides a necessary cushion against higher education tuition, fees, books and other expenses that could otherwise place an undue burden on your personal budget. The largest provider of student financial aid in the U.S., the federal government, has recently simplified the application process. You may now complete the required FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online, and in less time, in order to take advantage of all assistance for which you are eligible. Millions of students find that they qualify for enough financial aid to cover basic living expenses while enrolled in school. Directory of Schools provides all of the information you need to receive your share of college financial aid. You may to speak with one of our financial aid counselors. Or you can browse our web pages to learn more about the careers and schools in which you are interested.

Author - Adrian Tamblin

 

Getting Started
Overview
Financial Aid

Financial Aid refers to funding for educational expenses provided through grants, loans, scholarships, and work study programs. These expenses also include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, etc. Financial aid is available for students who seek education at a college, university, or private school. Financial Aid, not to be confused with student loans, is classified into two different categories based on different criteria through which it is rewarded. There is merit-based financial aid, and need-based financial aid. Visit our webpage about Free Stimulus Money for College for new and updated information! Also check out our Top Military Schools List.

Student Loans

Student loans are loans offered to students to assist them with payment towards the costs of professional education. Student loans usually carry a lower interst rate than other loans. These loans are also usually issued by the government. Often they are accompanied by student grants which do not have to be repaid. If you wish to inquire more about student loans, please contact one of our educational counselors. When you sign up with directoryofschools.com, a counselor will contact you then providing you with all student loan information you will need. Or you can visit our online school search at directoryofschools.com.

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is a group of federal and private monetary resources that are often combined to cover the expenses of a college education. These resources are generally awarded to those who meet specific income requirements and may include any or all of the following:

  • scholarships
  • grants, including Pell Grants
  • private and federal student loans
  • work study
  • What does financial aid cover?

    The expenses covered by each financial aid award may be specific or general; but they routinely cover one or more of the following:

  • college tuition
  • books, computers, software & other educational materials
  • on or off-campus housing (including on-campus meal plans)
  • transportation related to school
  • How do students apply for financial aid?

    All federal and most private financial aid are currently accessed by each individual filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) through the U.S. Department of Education. The FAFSA is submitted annually to determine eligibility, or to maintain eligibility, for financial aid -- based upon current income and living expenses. Those who exceed designated income limits may not be eligible for Pell Grants, subsidized student loans or work study; but they may still qualify for unsubsidized student loans and private scholarships.

    Scholarships that are based solely upon academic excellence or special abilities (i.e. sports and music) may not have income limits; yet they may still require the processing of a FAFSA. Due to limited financial aid resources, public and private higher education institutions generally follow a rigorous selection process in determining which students will receive a portion of the available scholarship awards. In most colleges, the FAFSA is a key element in this decision-making process.

    Do scholarships have to be repaid?

    No, scholarships and grants are gifts and usually do not have to be repaid, even if students drop out of school, except in cases of fraud. However, if students do not continue to meet the requirements of their scholarships, like keeping a specific minimum grade point average, they may lose those financial aid monies.

    Are student loans a good deal?

    Federal student loans are a great deal for students who plan to earn a college degree, or professional credential and who have done their research on the earning potential for their chosen field of study. These loans offer low interest rates and long repayment periods. However, private loans should be considered with caution and carefully checked out before signing on the dotted line. They do not necessarily offer low interest rates; and they do not usually offer flexible repayment periods or opportunities to defer repayment.

    Students should analyze their own finances to determine the amount of loan repayment they will be able to handle down the road. They should read the small print on their loan documents carefully and avoid borrowing more than they need. They should also note the following:

    • Student loan borrowers will be billed within a few months after they leave college, whether they graduate or not.
    • Federal student loans are not forgiven in bankruptcy proceedings.
    • Interest begins accruing right away on an unsubsidized student loan; so they will owe more than they borrowed when it is time to begin making the payments, unless the interest is paid while the student is attending school.
    • If they default on their student loan payments, there are repercussions, including the possibility of garnished wages.
    Financial aid is a wonderful way to realize the dream of a college education. Those who are serious about earning a college degree should not hesitate to take advantage of this form of monetary support in pursuing a higher quality of life and greater career fulfillment.

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