College Financial Aid Information


Financial aid is one of the highest concerns for students and parents when preparing to enter college, or applying for aid for the first time.

The first thing to realize is the difference between need-based aid and merit based aid.


Need based financial aid is based upon the financial circumstances of the student and the particular college he or she is attending. Income of the student is taken into consideration, and income of the parents if the student is leagally classified as a dependent.
Need based financial aid awards usually come in the form of grants, student loans, and parent loans.

Merit based financial aid is awarded based upon specific qualifications of the student, such as grade point average or SAT scores. Merit based aid is generally in the form of scholarships.

The majority of the time the term 'financial aid' refers only the need based financial aid.


Navigating the financial aid process can seem confussing if it's your first time to apply. Believe it or not, college financial aid in the United States is really a simple process, thanks to the federal government.

There is one form that each student needs to fill out each year to apply for need based programs including loans, grants and work-study. Find out about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid


Financial Aid College Assistance for Students