It's never too early—or too late—to explore your options for college or career school. This site discusses key steps in preparing for college and provides resources that can help you along the way.
The U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in financial aid to help pay for college or career school each year.
What is Financial Aid? https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types
Any money that is received to help cover the costs of attending college is considered Financial Aid. This could come in the form of:
- Grants- Financial Aid that does not have to be paid back and is awarded based on financial need.
- Loans- Financial Aid that has to be paid back once the student is no longer enrolled in school. Loans can be awarded by the federal government or by private institutions and both students and parents can borrow funds.
- Scholarships- Financial Aid that does not have to be paid back and is most often awarded based on merit (something the student has done such a grades, test scores, etc.)
- Work Study- Financial Aid that is earned through a part-time job on campus for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses.
What is the FAFSA? https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is used to determine a student’s eligibility for all types of federal and state financial aid. Students may apply beginning on October 1st of their senior year. Many colleges and universities require that a FAFSA be completed for students to be considered for any type of financial assistance, including scholarships.
Beginning with the Class of 2022, completing the FAFSA or submitting an official FAFSA Opt-Out Form is a Texas Graduation Requirement.
Students not eligible to complete the FAFSA may be able to complete the TASFA. Only specific students qualify to complete the TASFA, see your counselor for more information.
How do I apply for Financial Aid?
- Complete the FAFSA, this is the first step for all Financial Aid! You can list up to 10 schools to submit your FAFSA results to.
- Visit the Financial Aid websites for the colleges and universities you’re interested in to see if they have additional financial aid applications and deadlines.
- Complete the CSS Profile (if needed- this only applies to select schools.)
- Check the Academy Scholarship Page