Financial Aid Basics

Helping Students Realize Their Dream of a College Education

Because most college undergraduates receive some type of financial aid, it is a worthwhile effort for families with prospective college students to explore all possible options. The majority of financial aid is provided by the federal and state governments, though individual colleges and universities, scholarship organizations, and employers may also be sources.

Financial aid can encompass a wide range of assistance—from loans that must be repaid, to grants and scholarships that are gifts, to work-study opportunities that enable students to earn money. Students may qualify for aid on the basis of financial need or merit, which considers high school academic performance.

Financial Aid Basics covers:

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