College is rough, and whether you're a first year student or a veteran college-goer just looking to expand your financial aid options, you want to know what's out there. Totally understandable--the less you have to pay for school the better. Let's skim over a few of the more conventional, well-known aid forms, and then dive into a few areas that you might not have thought of.
Conventional Financial Aid
1. Federal and private loans. Basically federal loans are funds that a student borrows from a government agency with the promise to repay them upon completion of study. Stafford loans, Perkins loans and Parent Plus loans fall into this category, all of which require the completion of the FAFSA in order to be eligible. Private loans are not applied for via FAFSA and come from private organizations and even your own financial institution. Citi Bank participates, and a list of loans they deal with can be found online.
2. Federal grants. In addition to a list of loans that FAFSA deals with are a handful of grants as well. One well-known federal grant is the Pell grant, reserved for students with a reasonable amount of financial need. Several others are available as well.
Aid to Consider
1. Study Abroad aid. Lots of students take advantage of the opportunity to learn in a foreign country. An excellent idea to consider, study abroad is doubly beneficial--learning your field AND a new culture! Quite obviously, this costs a hefty chunk of change. You may be surprised to learn, however, that much of the aid you receive at your home college can also be provided for overseas study. The Pell grant, SEOG grant, and federal loans often cover alternate study, so be sure to apply via FAFSA. Additionally, special scholarships have sent many students on educational adventures. Individuals eligible for the Pell Grant are afforded the opportunity to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International scholarship, which is federal aid. Providing even more motivation to perform well academically, universities and affiliated study abroad programs often have scholarship opportunities for overseas education, dependent upon GPA.
2. Community College Aid. Contrary to what you may think, students do not have to be enrolled in a 4-year college to receive federal aid money. So long as enrollment status remains at half-time or more, community college students may qualify for the Perkins loan. Additionally, $100,000 per year is allotted specifically towards community college students seeking the Stafford loan.
Financial aid types are pretty straight-forward. However, there are so many different factors we overlook. Hopefully you've gotten a better grasp on available financial aid in different circumstances. Visit our solutions section to learn how Go Financial Aid can further help in your educational endeavors.