While thinking about their academic futures, many students may wonder about a simple, yet important question: Can I get financial aid? Of course you can! The truth is that most students can receive educational funding; they just need to apply for it on the FAFSA or other appropriate applications. While the information that follows is not all-inclusive, it should give an idea of what aid different people qualify for.
First consider general financial aid requirements. These guidelines address eligibility for federal financial aid. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need financial aid?
- Do I have a valid Social Security number?
- Do I have a high school diploma or GED certificate?
- Am I/Will I be enrolled in an eligible degree program?
- Do I/Will I maintain good academic standing in school?
- Am I a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen?
- Can I guarantee that I do not already have federal loan and/or grant debt?
- Can I promise to only use my financial aid for education?
- Can I comply with Selective Service (if necessary)?
If you answer “Yes” to all of the above, theoretically aid may be available to you. It is important to note, however, that each source of federal financial aid has its own requirements. In addition to the entirety of the above list, both Stafford and Perkins Loans require at least half-time enrollment status. In collegiate terms, “Half-Time” is defined as taking 6 credits per semester. The loan borrower must also promise, by signing a Master Promissory Note, that he or she will repay all funds borrowed upon completion of a degree program.
In addition to federal financial aid, students are often eligible for organization-sponsored aid. Types include: minority financial aid, LGBT financial aid, study abroad aid and international aid. Consider a few of the options.
Asian Cultural Council. The ACC provides grant money to Asian students studying the arts. Students must be conducting research, studying or training in the United States.
United Negro College Fund. The UNCF is devoted to African American education. The organization offers grants, scholarships, and fellowships to African American students in all areas.
PFLAG’s National Scholarship Program. Eligible individuals are those who are new college students and identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender or are close to someone who does, demonstrate an interest in LGBT activism, and apply to an accredited school.
Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice. Astraea provides grants and international funds for sexual minorities. Various offerings include the lesbian writers fund and visual arts fund, which provide educational grants.
As you can see, the options are abundant and requirements are relatively straight forward. With the large number of opportunities, choosing which to pursue can become challenging. Our financial aid consultants are here to help, and can offer several solutions to all of your inquiries. There is simply no reason to wonder, “Can I get financial aid