Types of financial aid
How to apply for Federal Student Aid
Types of Financial Aid
While most colleges expect you and your family to contribute financially toward your education, financial aid can help narrow the gap between your resources and the cost of college. The following types of financial aid are available from the federal government, states, colleges and private sources.
Grants are money you don't have to repay and are typically based on financial need. Check into California Cal Grants at and learn about federal Pell Grants at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Scholarships are also free money for college and are usually based on your area of study or merit, such as good grades; high test scores; athletic, musical or other special abilities; leadership community service; and sometimes financial need.
Work-study or student employment programs-- federal or college-- let you earn money through certain jobs on or off campus to help pay for your education.
Loans are borrowed money that you must pay back, usually with interest. The federal government pays the interest for Direct Subsidized Loans while the student is in college or while the loan is in deferment (basically, no interest while you are in college). Interest begins accruing for Direct Unsubsidized Loans as soon as the loan is taken out (interest starts accruing as soon as you take out the loan!).
Financial Aid Application
www.fsaid.ed.gov - Create an FSA ID for parent and student
Dream Act Application
(Tip: Not sure whether to use FAFSA or Dream Act? Go to dream.csac.ca.gov)
California State Aid
Guide to Financial Aid
www.fastweb.com Fastweb is the premier online resource when it comes to paying for and preparing for school. We have scholarships for every type of student from the high school freshmen to the returning adult.
www.unigo.com/ Includes 650,000 college reviews from students, 3.6 million scholarships, 90,000 internships 3.3 million study materials, and sample WINNING scholarship essays.
www.collegenet.com/mach25 Students can search by keyword or their personal profile. CollegeNET, Inc. is the world's leading 'virtual plumber' for higher education internet transactions.
http://www.cappex.com/ Cappex empowers students by helping them find colleges where they will succeed. Once students complete a survey about their accomplishments and interests, they begin to hear about schools that meet their unique qualifications. Colleges can also invite a student to hear more about a specific program they believe the student is particularly well-suited for. Students control the process and decide which schools they want to follow up with.
www.gmsp.org The goal of Gates Millenium Scholars is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential.
More Useful Scholarship Websites
African American Scholarships
Asian American Scholarships
Native American Grants and Scholarships