Achieving a higher education can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars based on the college you attend. The tuition is expensive enough, but on top of it most students also need to pay for on or off-campus housing, meals, and basic supplies such as books, a computer, and hygiene products. Due to all these costs, college was once a service for the well-to-do. However, the government and also many organizations are helping to make college accessible for nearly everyone who can maintain decent grades. Financial aid helps students pay for college through various means. It has many faces including grants, which are money awards provided by government entities, corporations and foundations. Another form of financial aid is work-study programs, which gives a student employment that will pay a portion of their education as opposed to or in addition to a take-home wage. There are also scholarships, which are money awards to students that are generally funded by high schools, private foundations, trade unions, or even the college itself. Even if you don’t think you need the money, it is a good idea to apply for federal financial aid because the cost of college can oftentimes exceed our expectations.
The official website of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Paying for College
Tools and guides to obtaining financial aid, grants or scholarships to pay for college.
15 Common Financial Aid Scams to Watch Out for
Every year, scammers try to steal from the high school graduates looking for money to pay for college. Don’t fall for their tricks.
A guide to avoiding scammers compiled by the Federal Trade Commission.
How NOT to get Scammed on Your Way to College
More information on scams. Be very careful; it never costs money to apply for financial aid.
Financial Aid Scams
Some examples of common scams including one that promises to pay back loans for you but requires your account numbers. Don’t fall for it.
An interactive website that teaches about the steps needed to finish high school and applying for college and the necessary aid before it’s too late.
Peterson’s College Search
A guide to scholarships and financial aid, especially through FAFSA.
The official website for federal grants, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Find a scholarship online for free.
A great service from Sallie Mae that gives rewards to members for spending money.
The Sallie Mae Fund
Sallie Mae awards $3,000,000 in scholarships each year allowing thousands of students to pursue an education.
An organization that supports students by providing grants and helping with fundraising for scholarship foundations.
The United States Army will help you pay for college if you join their Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and maintain good grades and merit.
Air Force ROTC
The Army is not the only branch of the military that will help pay for college through an ROTC program, the Air Force will do the same.
Not only will the Navy help pay for college, but they will provide a monthly spending allowance that you can do with what you please.
Join the National Guard and after basic training you will only need to dedicate one weekend a month, two weeks a year while your studies are paid for by their funds.
Financial Aid FAQ (PDF)
What are the major reasons to apply for financial aid? Even if you don’t think you need it, you should apply and these are the reasons why.
A guide to finding and applying for financial aid, getting scholarships and information about how your family members can help out.
Financing Law School
If you think undergraduate studies are expensive, just imagine how much graduate studies, law and medical school can cost.
Financial Aid Overview
This site aims to be your mentor for financial aid including the four basic types: grants, loans, scholarships and work-study programs.
Application for Work-Study Allowance (PDF)
An example of a work-study application that shows the types of questions that need to be answered or addressed. This one is aimed primarily at veterans.
Student Finance Domain
An outline of federal work-study, how to apply and the benefits it offers college students.
What is Federal Work Study
Just a quick definition of work-study and how the payment/wage system works.
How Work-Study Works
What is the difference between work study and regular employment?