Types of Financial Aid
Financial aid comes in four basic forms. Most financial aid packages offer a combination of the following:
1. Loans must be repaid with interest.
2. Grants are need-based and do not have to be repaid.
3. Scholarships are merit-based and do not have to be repaid. Most are awarded through the general admission process; some scholarships require a separate application. For more information on local scholarships go to our scholarship page.)
4. College Work Study allows the student to work on campus to contribute towards expenses.
Financial Aid Tips
- Discuss your family's financial situation in regards to paying for college with your child early in the post-high school planning process.
- Identify colleges where you might receive aid and make sure to include a range of affordable colleges on your list.
- Check out the FAFSA Forecaster on the FAFSA web site. It is a tool to help students and families estimate their potential eligibility for federal student aid.
- Use the Net Price Calculator to estimate the full, four-year cost of attending particular colleges (found on the financial aid office website for each participating college or College Board website).
- Research the deadlines and required forms for each college to which you are applying.
- Attend the Understanding College Financial Aid and Paying for College program in January and College Financial Aid Application Night in September.
- Complete the FAFSA online as soon after October 1 as possible. Use your most recently completed tax returns. For example, if your child is applying for federal aid to pay for college beginning in the fall of 2022, you will be submitting your tax returns from the 2020 fiscal year in October of 2021.
- In addition to the FAFSA, some colleges (mostly private) also require the submission of the CSS/Profile.
- Ultimately, all financial aid decisions are made by the individual college; therefore, it is necessary for you to work with the financial aid office at each college to which you are applying.
Financial Aid Web Sites
https://studentaid.gov/: government sponsored site
https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/: US Department of Education College Scorecard
www.ctohe.org/SFA/pdfs/SFABrochure.pdf: CT Office of Higher Education "Paying for College" brochure
www.finaid.org/: financial aid information, advice, and tools
http://formyourfuture.org/: guide to completing the FAFSA
bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college: College Board financial aid information
www.salliemae.com: student loan and financial saving information
www.nasfaa.org/: general financial aid information
collegerealitycheck.com/en/: Chronicle of Higher Education tool for comparing college financial measures
money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/college-planning/financial-aid: general financial aid information
www.kiplinger.com/fronts/channels/college/index.html: Kiplinger rankings of colleges based on value
www.wrightslaw.com/info/fin.aid.index.htm: general financial aid information