Financial Aid: What is it?
Student financial aid is funding that is available exclusively to students attending a college or university in the United States. This funding helps cover the many costs incurred in post-secondary education, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Financial aid is available from federal, state, educational institutions, and private agencies (foundations), and can be awarded in the forms of grants, education loans, work-study and scholarships.
Grant eligibility is typically determined by financial need and academic merit. Scholarships are similar but also rely on other criteria, such as student characteristics (e.g., gender, race, religion, family and medical history, etc.), creativity, career field, college, athletic ability, among other categories. Both grants and scholarships typically do not need to be repaid.
An education loan is taken out by the student (or parent) in order to pay for educational expenses. Unlike scholarships and grants, this money must be repaid with interest. Educational loan options include federal student loans, federal parent loans, private loans, and consolidation loans.
The work-study program is a form of part-time employment that requires students to enroll in on-campus jobs, when possible within their field of interest. The funds earned from this program are used towards a student’s education costs. The program is based on financial need and students must be accepted into the program to qualify.
Rising Cost of College
Continuously rising tuition and living expenses make it apparent to families that multiple sources of financial aid must be identified and obtained for students to pursue higher education. Unfortunately, the majority of families in the United States do not understand how to apply for financial aid to help pay for tuition and fees.
If you’re the parent of a college-bound child, your primary goal should be how to best minimize what you are going to spend on your child’s education and maximize your child’s financial aid package.
Hiring a financial aid counselor may prove invaluable, since the Department of Education said that 95% of the FAFSA forms were filled out incorrectly. It’s important that you complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile correctly the first time or you may not receive all the financial aid that you are eligible for.
We provide financial aid counseling service for those parents and students worry about how they’re going to pay for the college education without going broke. We are able to save families countless hours they would normally spend in the intricate filing process.
The 2018-2019 average tuition, fees, and room and board increased by over 3% from the prior year period.
This is the total cost for a first year undergraduate student at the following universities:
UT Austin: $26,500
Texas A&M: $28,540
UT Dallas: $29,285
Source: The College Board