Student Services

Financial Aid for Students

Guides students through the process of locating and applying for financial aid.  Prepared by the Congressional Research Service for Members of Congress, updated July 2019. For a complete Print and Online Guide, please click the attachment at the bottom of the page. 

Start gathering information early.

Free information is readily available from:

High school counselors
College and career school financial aid offices (where you plan to attend)
Local and college libraries
Student Aid on the Web (U.S. Department of Education)

Ask questions of counselors: you may have exceptional circumstances that affect your eligibility.

Keep copies of all forms and correspondence: you must reapply for aid each year.

Parents of students:

save money long before your child attends college.

FinAid: for Parents
College Savings Plan Network (state "Section 529" plans)
Tax incentives for higher education expenses

Good overviews:

About Financial Aid 
FinAid: The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid
Mapping Your Future
Paying for College

Beware of scholarship scams -- don't pay for free information!

Department of Education
Federal Trade Commission

Basic assistance categories:

  • Financial need-based
    Remember that students and their parents are responsible for paying what they can-- financial aid is a supplement, not a substitute, for family resources.
  • Non need-based
    Factors include academic excellence, ethnic background, or organization membership. Corporations may also offer assistance to employees and children.

Federal Student Aid:

  • Provides nearly 70% of student aid under Loans, Grants and Work/study programs.
  • Available to all need-based applicants; some loans and competitive scholarships for non need-based.
  • Free information from the U.S. Department of Education:
  • Student Aid on the Web
  • Financial Aid Resource Publications
  • Loans are the most common federal aid and must be repaid when you graduate or leave college.
Financial Aid for Students: A Print and Web Guide (08/19/1902:55 PMET )