Financial Aid Information
Scholarship Search Engines
Sources of Financial Aid Available:
- Federal Government
- State Government
Types of Financial Aid
There are 2 types of financial aid: merit-based and need-based. Merit-based aid is offered based on academic, athletic, artistic, or other criteria evaluated in the admission process. There are also many outside organizations that offer awards based on those same criteria as well as community service, character, and leadership qualities. The most common merit awards are college-sponsored scholarships, government-sponsored scholarships, and/or athletic scholarships for talented Division I & II athletes.
Need-based aid is the most common form of financial aid. All colleges and universities require a student to submit a FAFSA to be considered for need-based aid. Some colleges also require their own financial aid forms in addition to the FAFSA. Every family considering to apply for need-based financial aid should start to research early in the junior year to determine what their approximate eligibility will be (Estimated Family Contribution or EFC). Every college has a net-price calculator on their website to help you understand your final costs. PHEAA.org has a ton of resources to help you plan and figure out what you can afford.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
A form that is required for everyone seeking federal and state aid. By completing this form, you are applying for all types of Federal and State Aid. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Eligibility will be determined within 72 hours. FILE EARLY! The PIN number has been replaced by the FSA ID. It is recommended that students and filing-parents create their two FSA IDs prior to beginning the FAFSA. Visit http://fsaid.ed.gov for more information.
CSS Profile: Offered by the College Scholarship Service (CSS) through the College Board and must be filed online at http://student.collegeboard.org/profile. You can also find a list of colleges that require the profile on that page. The profile is used by scholarship programs to award private funds. You may file the Profile at the same time as the FAFSA, starting October 1st. Check the deadlines at your colleges and file no later than two weeks before your earliest deadline specified by your colleges or programs.