What is Financial aid?
- Student Financial Aid emerged as a vital force in financing American higher education during the 1970’s, when the Education Amendments of 1972 authorized a massive expansion of funding and also established a program to encourage states to become involved or to do more in assisting their students with their educational costs. Today, over half of all students in higher education rely on one or more forms of financial aid during their academic careers. Financial aid is usually based on need but some is merit-based such as academics, athletics, artistic ability, etc.
Forms of Financial Aid
Financial Aid is designed to help individuals meet their educational expenses when their own resources are not sufficient. A student who believes that his/her own family resources are not sufficient to pay for all costs of attendance (tuition, room and board, books, transportation, etc.) should apply for financial aid through the Financial Aid Office of the college he/she plans to attend. There are three types of aid available:
- Grants – gifts or scholarships which do not have to be repaid.
- Loans – money borrowed to cover school costs, which must be repaid (usually with interest) over a specified period of time (usually after the student graduates from college).
- Work – employment that enables a student to earn a portion of school costs.
What is Family Contribution?
The family contribution is the amount of money the family of a student is expected to contribute toward college expenses. The family includes the student and the student’s parents. The amount of money that is expected to be contributed by the family is calculated by a standardized formula that takes into account the following:
- Family’s financial resources (income and assets)
- Size of family, and
- Basic living expenses of the family
The calculation of family contribution is based on information provided by the student’s family on a standardized need analysis form. All students who apply for Federal financial assistance are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is no charge to the student or the student’s family for the processing of this form or for determining the student’s eligibility for federal financial assistance. You can receive the FAFSA form by calling 1-800-433-3243 or ask your high school guidance counselor. This form can also be completed electronically but you will need to check with your guidance counselor for more information on this process. Results will be mailed to you in about four weeks.
- All financial aid forms must be resubmitted each year.
- Apply for financial aid as early as possible (never before January 1 of the year you want to enroll).
Websites for College and Financial Aid Information
There are a number of Web sites that may be of help as students search for college and financial aid information. FinAid: Financial Aid Information Page provides a comprehensive and free resource for financial aid on the World-Wide Web. This page offers Fast Web (a free scholarship search engine) and links to government funding sources, information for international students, and referrals to the other sites of interest. Site includes an on-line scholarship service, the Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid, and a calculator to estimate EFC (Expected Family Contribution).
- www.ed.gov – U.S. Department of Education homepage.
- www.ed.gov/inits/hope/index.html – Information regarding Hope and Lifelong Learning tax
- www.fafsa.ed.gov – Site to complete FAFSA online, Renewal FAFSA online, and make corrections to existing FAFSA record information.
- www.nasfaa.org/SubHomes/Cashforcollege/index2.html – Includes answers to most commonly asked questions regarding the financial aid process.
- www.collegeispossible.org – Resources developed to help parents and students who are looking for answers. Has links with information on books, websites, and brochures recommended by admissions and financial aid professionals.
- www.glhec.org – Site for Great Lakes Higher Education Corp., a guarantor of
student loans. Includes an online calculator for determining monthly loan payments. Also allows online review of student loan accounts using the IBIS (Internet Borrower Inquiry System).
- www.mapping-your-future.org– A comprehensive resource with definitions, glossary,tips and many useful links.
- www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/scholarship/index.html– Contains information regarding tips for avoiding scholarship scams.
State of Ohio Aid Information
- www.regents.state.oh.us – Information regarding Ohio grants, scholarships, etc.
Note: The above sites are for informational purposes only. They may be helpful to you as a resource regarding various topics. This is by no means a complete list, nor is it an endorsement by the Chillicothe-Ross Community Foundation for any of these specific sites. In addition, as the number of web-sites related to financial aid continues to grow, check your browser for financial aid information which extends beyond the sites mentioned above.