Financial Aid for CollegeAfter you get accepted to a college, you’ll need money to pay for tuition, books, housing,and living expenses. Many students rely on financial assistance from public or privateinstitutions to help pay for these expenses.Various institutions offer financial aid to students for college and higher education—thefederal government, state governments, colleges and universities, and privateorganizations. These institutions provide different types of financial aid, including studentloans, scholarships, grants, and work-study funds. You have to meet different requirementsin order to be eligible for each of these forms of financial aid, which provide differentfeatures and benefits. This section will focus on student loans.Federal Student AidThe United States Department of Education (ED) has a dedicated office called FederalStudent Aid (FSA) to help students fund college education. The FSA accepts and evaluatesfinancial aid applications and distributes more than $150 million each year among studentswho meet the eligibility conditions for financial aid. The FSA’s Free Application for FederalStudent Aid (FAFSA) program receives more than 20 million applications each year. Thefinancial aid reaches students through the colleges to which they get accepted.The FSA manages various student financial assistance programs. The FSA alerts studentsand families when federal aid programs become open for applications. It provides freeassistance to students throughout the process of obtaining aid.EligibilityThe eligibility requirements for federal student aid vary for different programs. However,these are some requirements for all programs:●Financial need:For most financial aid programs, you’ll need to prove that you arefinancially needy.●Study enrollment:You need to be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificateprogram.●Academic performance:You need to maintain a decent academic progress recordto be eligible for aid.●Register with Selective Service:Male students between the ages of 18 and 25who are not on active duty in the US Armed Forces need to be enrolled with
Selective Service to receive aid. Students from some locations are exempt from thisrequirement.●Social security number:You’ll have to provide a valid social security number.●Completion of high school or an equivalent program:You’ll need to submit proofof high-school completion to show you’re ready for a college education.●Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):You must submit the FAFSAevery year you attend college to be eligible for aid.Once you start receiving financial aid, you need to maintain your eligibility. This meansstaying enrolled in an eligible course, making academic progress, and filling out the FAFSAeach year during the program.