Student Financial Aid

What is student financial aid?
In the last decade or so¸ the need and importance of a college education has tremendously increased. Besides the expertise you gain in a particular field through a college education¸ and the immeasurable growth and exposure you experience as a person¸ a college degree has become an essential requirement for a job. However¸ the cost of attending college has been rising steadily over the years¸ at a rate of five to six percent annually. This has made it quite difficult for average Americans to afford a college education. This is where student financial aid comes in. For millions of Americans¸ student financial aid is the only way to turn the dreams of a higher education to reality.

What types of student aid are available?
Financial student aid includes student loans¸ grants and scholarships. While loans have to be repaid to the original lender¸ grants and scholarships are simply “gifts” of money¸ that can be used to cover the cost of tuition and other expenses incurred while at college. However¸ since grants and scholarships are quite limited¸ students need to look for alternative ways to fund their education. Federal student financial aid¸ which is provided by the government¸ is the top preference for a number of students. This aid is provided by the government¸ meaning there is no risk of the lender going bankrupt and you having to give up on your dreams of a college education. Federal student financial aid includes education grants such as Pell grants¸ as well as loans such as Stafford and PLUS loans which are given at low¸ fixed rates of interest.

How can I apply for Federal student financial aid?
Moreover¸ federal student financial aid also includes a “work-study” program under which students work on-campus in exchange for having their tuition paid. Graduate student financial aid and aid for those enrolled in professional or healthcare related degrees is also awarded under separate programs. The application process for student finance involves filling out a FAFSA¸ which can be submitted online. Once the application is approved¸ students can obtain the funds required to cover the cost of college tuition.