There are many sources of financial assistance available to help pay for college, as well as strategies for reducing costs. On this page, we review the different types of financial aid, forms everyone should fill out, strategies for reducing costs, and a list of scholarship databases. For a more in depth approach and further information, refer to the article Strategies to Pay for College.
1. How are funds awarded?
Need-based aid-determined by a formula summarizing your family's financial situation. See www.finaid.org to get an estimate of what most universities will regard as your actual financial need.
Merit-based aid-determined by a student's academic merit, special talents, occupational goals, service record or other specific attributes. Some merit funds also include an assessment of need.
2. Forms everyone needs to know about…
All applicants for financial awards would be advised to complete financial disclosure forms regardless of whether the application is for need-based or merit-based awards. Some awards from private sources (foundations, businesses, organizations) use the forms listed below, even though they were designed for determining awards from federal funds.
3. Strategies for realistically estimating and reducing costs…
4. Scholarship and financial aid lists, websites, databases and books…
Go to the library, the Post-Grad Center at Fairview, or a bookstore and page through a few of the books about financing college. Or, visit a couple of websites to get an overview of the world of college financial aid. For a list of many resources, see the document, Strategies to Pay for College.