Preparing for College
Here are some additional resources to help you prepare for college:
More than $168 billion in financial aid is available to students and their families. In fact, most families of college students receive some kind of financial aid for college. Also, don't rule out higher-cost colleges, because financial aid can substantially reduce your cost. Here are the four main types of financial aid:
Also called gift aid, you don't have to pay these back and your child doesn't have to work to earn them. They are based on financial need and come from federal and state governments.
These also don't have to be paid back. They are based on academic merit, field of study, ethnicity, athletic abilities, as well as financial need. HSF Scholarships are an example: they are awarded to Hispanic students based on academic merit and financial need.
These loans must be repaid, but because they are sponsored by the federal government and are based on financial need, they are low-interest loans, and no interest accrues until your child begins repayment after graduation.
A federal program that gives students part-time employment, up to 20 hours per week, at a job on campus or in the community.
Parent Action Items:
- Learn about requirements for each type of financial aid and find out what you might expect to receive. Ask your child's counselor if your state awards special grants to help low-income families pay for college.
- Attend events that offer information on financial aid. Talk to your child and find out if he thinks he would be able to work part-time while attending college. Also find out if your child is comfortable paying back a loan after she graduates.
- Show your child that you are committed to his college education and his future by finding out about all available resources to make it happen. Your encouragement will motivate him!
Visit www.collegeboard.com for more information about the types of financial aid available and links to online resources. Also visit hsf.net for a list of available sponsorships and application requirements.