See the Glossary of Financial Aid Terms

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money to help students and their families pay for college. Financial aid can come from the U.S. federal government, the state where the student lives, the school the student attends, or a nonprofit or private organization. Financial aid is assistance that covers educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. There are several types of financial aid, including grants, institutional and external scholarships, work-study and loans.

General Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Be registered with the Selective Service, if male
  • Be enrolled a t least half-time in degree applicable-applicable coursework to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree in an eligible program
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that
    • You are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
    • You will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Show you are qualified to obtain a college education by
    • Having a high school diploma or recognized equivalent such as General Educational Development (GED) certificate
    • Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law