Types of Financial Awards: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types
- Need- Based: Based on financial need as demonstrated on the FAFSA
- Merit- Based: Based on the accomplishments of the student such as grade point average, test scores, extra-curricular or community service involvement and much more.
Sources of Financial Assistance:
- Federal and State Financial Aid
- College or University Scholarships
- Scholarships from Businesses and Organizations
- Educational Assistance for Military Veterans
FEDERAL AND STATE FINANCIAL AID
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): www.fafsa.ed.gov
Federal and State Governments use the FAFSA form to determine a family’s ability to pay for college. The FAFSA determines eligibility for all types of federal and state financial aid. It is not necessary to apply for each grant or loan separately. Students may apply beginning on October 1 of their 12th grade year.
Many colleges and universities require that a FAFSA be completed for students to be considered for any type of financial assistance, including scholarships.
Students not eligible to complete the FAFSA may be able to complete the TAFSA. (Only specific students qualify to complete TAFSA, see your counselor for more information.)
Federal and State Loans: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans
There are many types of loans offered, but all require repayment with interest. Most loans do not require repayment until after a student is no longer attending college. Typically, federal and state loans offer very competitive interest rates. Some of those loans include:
- FEDERAL DIRECT LOANS: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized Federally backed loans that FAFSA eligible students qualify for regardless of credit history. Loan borrowing limits apply.
- THECB LOANS: http://www.hhloans.com/ Loans for residents of Texas.
- PARENT PLUS LOANS: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/plus PLUS loans are for parent borrowers and provide additional funds for educational expenses. They are made by a lender such as a bank, savings and loan association or credit union and have credit requirements.
- Students and families may also apply for private loans from the financial institute of their choice.
Federal and State Grants
Grants do not require repayment by parents or students and are often awarded based on financial need. Some types of federal and state grants include:
- PELL GRANT: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/pell Based on financial need.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: The FSEOG is a grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need.
- Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program: http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/apps/financialaid/tofa.cfm Provides grant aid to students with financial need that are enrolled in Texas public two-year colleges.
- TEXAS EQUALIZATION GRANT (TEG): Provides grant aid to students with financial need to enable them to attend private, non-profit colleges or universities in Texas.
- TEACH FOR TEXAS GRANT: Offers assistance to those desiring to teach in identified fields or geographical areas experiencing a critical shortage of teachers.
Federal Work Study Program: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/work-study
This program provides part-time jobs on campus for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.
Exemptions are a type of financial assistance allowing some Texas residents to attend a public college or university in Texas without paying tuition or in some cases, tuition and fees. There a number of exemptions that include students in the foster care system, children of military personnel and many more. Visit www.collegeforalltexans.com for more information.
OTHER SOURCES OF FINANCIAL AID
Students who qualify for Free and/or Reduced lunch may also qualify for SAT & ACT fee waivers and college application fee waivers. See your counselor for more information.
College or University Scholarships
Most colleges and universities offer both need based and merit based scholarships. Particular departments or majors may also offer scholarships. Check with each college that you are applying to in order to ensure that you are meeting the requirements for their general or departmental scholarships.
Scholarships from Organizations and Businesses
Some organizations/businesses offer need-based or merit-based scholarships which do not require repayment. Scholarship information is updated on a regular basis and can be accessed on Naviance and on the Plano Senior Counseling website. Please read scholarship information carefully to be sure that you meet all requirements. Most scholarships are available to seniors only.
Educational Assistance for Military Veterans
Students that enlist in any branch of the military after high school are eligible to receive financial assistance to attend college or technical school. For more information, visit www.benefits.va.gov