There is a way to pay for college! Several billion dollars in financial aid has been available to help students meet the cost of education or training after high school. This money helps millions of students continue their education. It can help you, too. Some students do not apply for aid, thinking they will not qualify because their family income is too high. Eligibility for financial aid is not based on family income alone.
Post-secondary institutions, state, and other organizations award financial aid on the basis of «demonstrated need». Demonstrated need is the difference between what it costs to attend a particular college and how much the family can reasonably be expected to contribute toward those expenses. Here's how it works:
Total College Expenses:
Minus Family Contribution (what the family can pay)
Equal Demonstrated Need
How to Apply for Aid
Most college, state, or other scholarship programs will ask you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The FAFSA collects financial information about you and your family that these institutions and programs use to determine your need for financial aid. You should check with each institution and program to make sure that you know what forms to file and when. Some colleges and programs ask students to complete their own institutional applications too.
Remember, applying for admissions to a college is not enough. If you think you will need aid, you must apply for it! Check the deadline for each college, state program, or other scholarship program to which you plan to apply. You should file the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Forms are available at www.fafsa.ed.gov. A Financial Aid Workshop is hosted each January at South Dearborn High School.
Types of Financial Aid
- Grants / Scholarships – aid that does not have to be repaid.
- Loans - these usually have low interest rates and must be repaid but generally after you have graduated or terminated your college education. Student employment or work-aid - this may mean a job that the college finds for you or work you find on your own.
- Athletic or academic scholarships - based on academic or athletic excellence, not on demonstrated need. (See section on non-need scholarships)
Sources of Financial Aid
- Institutional funds - most colleges have instituted scholarships or grants as well as loan and work programs.
- Federal funds - Pell Grant is based on family financial circumstances and may be used at the college of your choice. You can apply for the Pell Grant just by filling out the appropriate box on your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). No other application is required.
- Perkins Loan Program - (formerly National Direct Student Loan) is a program that provides loans for students with need. No interest is paid until the student leaves college at which time repayment begins.
- The College Work-Study Program (CWS) - a program providing jobs for students with demonstrated need.
- Stafford Loan Program - formerly the Guaranteed Student Loan Program (GSL) – is a very important source of loan funds primarily made by banks and savings and loan associations. The GSL Program is administered by the Department of Education.
- State Funds - All states have scholarship or grant programs to help students attend the college of their choice. The State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI) assists Indiana residents in attending the institution of their choice in the state of Indiana. Students apply for State funds when filing a FAFSA. Students attending Cincinnati Technical College, Northern Kentucky University, and The University of Cincinnati may be eligible for state funds.
- Parent Plus Loans – This lower interest loan is in the parent(s) name and repayment starts 6 months after the student is enrolled their post-secondary education.
- Higher Education Awards - are granted annually and do not exceed the cost of tuition and regularly assessed fees. In order to qualify, a student must demonstrate financial need and attend an eligible Indiana post-secondary institution. The monetary value is based on the Commission›s evaluation of the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submitted by the student and his/her parent(s) and the cost of education at the institution the student plans to attend. The student must be enrolled "full-time".
- Community Assistance - Community agencies, organizations, clubs, and civic and cultural groups also provide financial aid. Need is usually considered; however, other factors may be taken into account.
A non-need scholarship is one based entirely on the student›s academic or other ability as compared with financial need. Many students receive assistance on a combination of ability and needs. Parents should not eliminate themselves from
consideration of assistance based on need until they consult with the financial aid office of a college.
Have more questions? Contact our Guidance Department team.
Lisa Moorhead – Director of Guidance, Lisa.Moorhead@sdcsc.k12.in.us
Sally Bender, Sally.Bender@sdcsc.k12.in.us
Lisa Tupper, Lisa.Tupper@sdcsc.k12.in.us