Financial aid is the money you receive from a variety of sources to cover the cost of your education. Most people regardless of income, are eligible for some form of financial aid. The financial aid sources available to a student attending an Historically Black College or a Majority College in include:
A grant is a need-based form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Grants are generally provided by individual states or the federal government and include:
- This is the most common form of federal aid. They are need based, provided by the federal government and awarded by schools.
- These grants are awarded by schools and provide assistance for undergraduates with the greatest financial need. The program gives priority to students who receive Federal Pell Grants.
A loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid with interest. The main loan options are student loans, parent loans, and private loans. Federal programs for loans include:
- These are available to students who demonstrate the most serious financial need. They are federally funded and awarded by the school. Generally, these loans have the best terms and conditions; however, they are usually small in amount due to limited funds.
- These loans are awarded on the basis of financial need and are regulated by the federal government. Students may be borrowing from a bank, a credit union, or directly from the government. A subsidized Stafford Loan is the loan of first choice, since the government pays the interest while students are in school. Students who do not qualify for a subsidized Stafford Loan may take out unsubsidized Stafford Loans. These students are responsible for paying the interest while still in school, but may postpone payment of interest and principal until after graduation. Any unpaid interest is capitalized once repayment begins.
- These loans are for parents of undergraduate students. They are based on credit history and require a credit check. The interest rate is low and repayment begins within 60 days after the disbursement of funds to the parent.
Scholarships are a form of aid to help you pay your undergraduate tuition. Like grants, they do not have to be repaid. Generally, scholarships are reserved for students with special qualifications, such as financial need and/or academic, athletic, or artistic talent.
Institutional scholarships can be based on financial need, academic ability, or outstanding talent. Many are offered by private colleges and universities, though thousands of private scholarships are also available from other sources. To find out more about these scholarships visit your high school guidance counselor, college financial aid office, the Internet, your local library, or with the HBCUMentor scholarship search
Work study provides students with employment opportunities both on and off campus. Participation in a work-study program is typically based on the student’s financial need. Funding for work-study programs can come from either the federal or state level:
Benefits r Specific Groups and Other Options
- This program allows students to subsidize their tuition and expenses with on-campus jobs. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate financial need.
- State work-study programs work the same as the federal program, the only difference being the source of funding.
There are several financial assistance programs benefiting specific groups. Getting creative with your options may also help in paying your way through college.