Financial Aid refers to all of the monetary assistance the federal government, state of Wisconsin and/or individual colleges can offer a student and family to offset the cost of college. ALL students and families should apply for financial aid! Financial Aid is available for students attending two-year, technical and four-year colleges. In addition, the financial aid process must be completed EVERY year that a student is in college and wants to receive aid. Although all family situations differ in regard to ability to help finance a college education, there is assistance available and no student should forego attending college because of financial concerns. The amount of money that can be earned in a working lifetime amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars (even millions!) more relative to the amount of education beyond high school a student pursues. The following are the types of financial aid available for students and families:
- Grants: These are monies available for the most financial needy of families. This is ‘free’ money that does not need to paid back!
- Work Study: These monies are available to students to earn during their school year working on campus at designated ‘work study’ positions. Students are paid by the college they attend during the time they are working. This money also does not need to be paid back. In addition, work-study earnings do not ‘count against’ a student the following year when they re-apply for financial aid.
- Loans: This is the most common type of financial aid. Loans DO have to be paid back upon student graduation or exit (for any reason) from college. Loans through the government typically are very low interest and the payback period is extremely reasonable. There are two types of governmental loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.
Students and families need to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in order to be eligible for financial aid. The best source for information on financial aid, as well as the best way to apply for financial aid, is the FAFSA website:
Students and families should NEVER pay to complete or file the FAFSA!!! Once the FAFSA is filed the federal government will review the application and make their determination on the amount of aid they will offer a student. The government then passes on the application to the colleges that are indicated on the FAFSA for individual colleges to review and determine the amount of aid they will offer a student. From there, students receive a SAR (Student Aid Report), which specifies what is available to them for financial aid. Students can chose to accept all, some or none of the financial aid offered to them. A good rule of thumb is to only accept the amount of aid needed to actually pay for college – tuition and possibly room/board.
*** If a family experiences some major change in their financial situation after filing the FAFSA and/or is not able to report significant financial information on the original FAFSA form, they should contact the Financial Aid Office(s) of the school(s) their student is considering to talk individually with a Financial Aid Officer. This type of financial aid appeal can result in much more appropriate financial aid assistance for students. Families should not hesitate to do this as many times it can result in additional financial aid for students.
* All male students must register with the Selective Service upon turning 18 and prior to completing the FAFSA or they will not be eligible for student aid. Male students can do so at: www.sss.gov .FINANCIAL AID UPDATES!! (February 2017)SCHOLARSHIP REMINDERS:If you are planning on pursuing some form of post-secondary education, it is highly recommended you complete the Local Scholarship Application by February 10th. This application can be found through your CareerCruising Account!Also, be sure to scroll below the local application to find additional available scholarships. This page is updated frequently with new scholarships as we receive them, so check back often. Also be sure to be checking with your college/university or other post-secondary program regarding scholarships they may have available as well!FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION (FAFSA):If you plan on completing the FAFSA, the application window is open, and you can apply at any time. Sooner is always better. Some colleges/universities have a FAFSA deadline, so check with your school to determine if they have a specific date.In order to apply, you must first request a FSA ID which serves as your electronic signature. If you haven't requested a FSA ID, you can do so at: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/
index.htm. Once you obtain your ID, you can then complete the FAFSA at: https://fafsa.ed.gov/.For more information about the FAFSA, check out the following link: https://studentaid.ed. gov/sa/. I have also included a document from FAFSA here for more details:
Please contact the School Counseling Office for more information or questions.