You don't need to be an expert, but you do need a basic understanding of college costs and financial aid. Your students and their families rely on you to explain exactly what financial aid is—and how it can help them to afford college. It's even better when you can provide them authoritative sources on costs, aid applications, scholarships, and loans.
Get the details on what types of aid are available and how to help your students get it.
Financial Aid Overview
Financial aid makes up the difference between what college costs and what a family can afford to pay. Approximately two-thirds of full-time undergraduate college students receive some sort of financial aid.
There are three main types of financial aid:
- Loans that have to be repaid
- Grants and scholarships that don't have to be repaid
- Employment programs, such as work-study, that allow students to earn money and gain job experience while still in school
Financial Aid Websites
These useful sites are administered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Department of Education:
- Federal Student Aid is a good starting place for students planning for college and looking for financial aid.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) takes students line-by-line through the financial aid application process.
- How to Avoid Scholarship and Financial Aid Scams is an article from the FTC that helps students identify potential scammers trying to take money or steal personal information.
For additional tips and information, review the Resources section below.