Migrant Ed Program at Oak Grove High School
Different Types of Financial Aid Defined

Different Types of Financial Aid Defined


College is an investment in youÖand thereís money to help you pay for it.


While most colleges expect you and your family to contribute toward your education, financial aid can help narrow the gap between your resources and your costs.  Financial aid is available from the federal government, states, colleges and private sources:


Grants are money you donít have to repay and are typically based on financial need.


Scholarships are also free money for college and are usually based on your area of study or merit, such as good grades, high test scores, athletic, musical or other special talents, community service, and sometimes financial need.


Work-study or student employment programs—federal and college—let you earn money in certain jobs on or off campus to help you pay for your education.


Loans are borrowed money that you must pay back, usually with interest.


Your first step to getting money for college is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.  Some financial aid offered by your state or college may require you to submit additional information or applications.  Apply early and meet the deadlines because many financial aid funds are limited.


Watch a video about FAFSA here!


Also explore private scholarships, tax credits and other options.  Ask if your college offers a plan that will let you spread your payments over the school year.

You Should Know:

o   Cal Grants are free money you donít have to pay back.

o   Financial aid can cover more than tuition and books.  Paying rent, eating and getting from one place to another add up.  Luckily, most state and federal grants and scholarships, as well as federal loans, take that into account.

o   College isnít just for the wealthy.

o   You donít have to attend full time to get financial aid.  You can use your federal Pell Grant and other aid if you only go to college half time.  Even if you take one or two classes, you may still be able to use your Pell Grant.

o   Money is set aside for foster youth.   If you are or were in foster care, you may be eligible for thousands of dollars a year for college or job training on top of any other financial aid you receive.

o   You donít need to be a U.S. citizen to receive financial aid—and your parents donít need to be citizens either.  The majority of U.S. permanent residents and other eligible non-citizens qualify for more federal and state aid.  If youíre an undocumented student, you arenít eligible for state or federal aid, but in California you may qualify for in-state tuition rates at public colleges

o   Competing the FAFSA is not as difficult as it may first appear.  The form is available in English and Spanish, and has step-by-step instructions; ask you school.  You can also attend a free college application workshop.


o   Apply for financial aid even before finding out if youíve been accepted to college.  Otherwise you may miss out on scholarships, grants and other free money for education.





* Taken from Fund Your Future Workbook: California 2009-10.  By the California Student Aid Commission & EdFund.