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What Are the Different Types/Categories of Financial Aid Available to Students?

Grants and Scholarships (gift aid based on merit or need and does not require repayment)

There are a number of scholarships available. Some are as simple as one of your grandparents immigrated and came through Ellis Island, to the extreme of holding the top highest grades within your high school for all 4 years. Each scholarship requires essays, and some require multiple essays. Be prepared to write a lot. Once a scholarship is received, it is important to know that scholarships can be taken away if at least 12 credits are not kept as well as grades above each scholarship’s expectations.

Be sure to check out Scholly, an application to find appropriate scholarships for you. Scholly recently was featured on CNBC’s Shark Tank, and won money from venture capitalist sharks, Lori Greiner and Daymond John. By downloading the app and answering a few questions about yourself, you can get access to many available scholarships based on your personal demographics. It literally takes minutes to find the scholarships, but longer to apply for them. There are millions of dollars that go unclaimed in scholarship money because hardly anyone knows they exist. The app also shows you examples of winning essays which can be helpful for you to start the process.

Grants are given to those in need of financial aid. You must fill out financial aid forms to qualify for a grant. Grants are awarded by the greatest need. These do not require essays, but you must qualify for financial aid to be considered for a grant.

Don’t worry, the stock market will drop. Yes that’s just a part of investing in stocks. Don’t ask “What happens if” but when. Accept that it will happen and you’ll feel more comfortable when it does.

For every stock market pullback and bear market we’ve had, has always been followed by a recovery period. So when you are investing for your children’s college education you can invest in stocks as long as you have a long period of time to take care of a recovery. What I mean by long period of time is at least seven (7) to ten (10) years. When your children are getting older and they are closer to spending that money for college, meaning two (2) to five (5) year time frame, then you should be more balanced with some stocks and some fixed income investments as well in order to make sure that you have a balanced portfolio. As your child’s getting closer to college and they’re going to be using that money for their college expenses in the next year or so, then you really want to go conservative and have a portfolio with very little in stocks. With only a year or less, it might not be enough time to recover from a stock market dip.

Self-help (student loans and student employment)

Helpful Resource Link:

Different types of Financial Aid Available

When should students start filling out paperwork for FINANCIAL AID? Sophomore, Junior, Senior year?

It is best to start filling out financial aid forms early February. Some schools require the financial aid notification by May 1st. Students can start researching financial aid as a sophomore, it’s never too early to start preparing. However, in the junior year it’s time to really get serious about investigating financial aid options. Waiting until senior year may not give the student enough time to get their ducks in a row for some financial aid options but it shouldn’t be too late in most cases. Rule of thumb is to think about financing a college education as early as possible; having more time is better than not having enough. Click here for more information about the process of applying for financial aid.

What is the difference between a Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loan?

Subsidized loans do not accrue interest, meaning the amount of the loan will not increase with a finance charge. Unsubsidized loans start accumulating interest from the day the loan was accepted and dispersed to pay the college tuition.

What are the different sources of financial aid?

a. Institutional (colleges and universities)

b. Private (corporations; community, religious, cultural and fraternal organizations; etc.)

c. State government

d. Federal government

Below are links to additional helpful information:

Student Aid Resources

Different types of Financial Aid Available

What can be covered by financial aid? Are dorms, Food, Parking passes, Books, School supplies allowable/covered?

When filling out the financial aid paperwork, make sure that if the student is staying in the dorms and will be dependent of the meal plan, that all of those expenses are notated on the application along with all school supplies such as writing utensils and if need be laptop and other technical purchases. If you are unsure about anything in the application, make sure you ask for assistance. The difference could be coverage for school supplies or nothing.

Specifically what expenses are NOT covered by financial aid that parents and/or students should be prepared for?

Financial aid only covers a specific amount, and that amount depends on one’s financial needs. Student loans are there to cover the rest, but it is always best to look into scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of interest with student loans. Student loans can cover housing, transportation, and technological finances. Even though it is nice to have a school loan and not pay into it until graduation, sometimes it is cheaper to purchase a car with a low interest than the average 9% with a student loan.

Making Loan Payments

If a student has a school loan under their name, are parents able to make loan payments directly to their child’s account to help them pay it off, should they choose, or do all payments have to be submitted directly by the student?

Anyone can sign in to pay for student loans. But some sites require specific information. requires you to know the following information:

  • federal student aid PIN that was assigned to the student
  • social security number
  • the first 2 character of their last name
  • date of birth

All other student loan agencies such as Wells Fargo Student Loans, SallieMae and other loan institutions have auto pay through a savings or checking account, and anyone can sign in and make payments on the loan if they have the required information such as:

  • password
  • account number
  • date of birth
  • social security number if required
  • and college name or names

When should students start filling out SCHOLARHSIP forms? Sophomore, Junior, Senior year?

Scholarship deadlines vary, it is best to research scholarship opportunities the summer prior to the senior year of high school. Some scholarships have deadlines as early as October. Since most scholarships require an essay, it is best to get a head start and dedicate time each week to focus on scholarship submission process.

Is there a limit on how many scholarships a student can apply for?

No, there is no limit to an amount of scholarships that someone can apply for. Students are encouraged to apply for as many as possible since there are so many people needing scholarship money.

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