For many students, financial aid can greatly affect their decision about whether or not to attend college, or which institution they attend. Because of its importance, the decision to apply for financial aid, and which programs to accept, should be made only with a complete understanding of the process, requirements, benefits, and responsibilities.
Financial aid is any loan, part-time employment, grant, or scholarship offered for the express purpose of helping a student pay for educationally related expenses. Such aid is usually provided by federal, state, institutional, or private agencies. If you qualify, you may be offered combinations of these types of aid, depending on your financial need and the funds available. Scholarships may also depend upon achievement.